Laurel Burch Patterned Pets

              

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laurel Burch, an American artist, started her career creating jewelry from metal she found in junkyards.  Her designs, mostly animals, were bright and colorful with a mix of many patterns.  Her vision blossomed into “fantastic felines”, dogs, moons, hearts, and mythical animals.

Our students study Laurel Burch as a design influence.  Patterns, for example, are a first grade curriculum unit.   What better way to look at pattern and work with it than the inspiration of Laurel Burch?

Here’s all the behind the scenes work we did to get to the pretty finished project:

First we started with guided drawings.  With guidance, students drew two different cats and two different dogs:

The next step was allowing students to choose his or her favorite animal that they had learned to draw and redraw it larger on a heavy weight drawing paper with pencil.  Then students re-traced the line-work with a back sharpie.

After all the drawing, we were ready to paint.  Student had choices of thinned bright, neon colored tempera paint.  We used a wash (painting water first to allow for better blending) and applied light layers of color, moving from one color to another.

Next, students worked with pattern on worksheets, trying out different designs for their animal.  Some examples were spirals, triangles with circles in the center.  When they settled on one they liked, students drew it on the animal, spacing it out with a finger’s width between, using a black sharpie.

The last steps were cutting out his or her cat or dog and gluing it to a black background.  Students used a different pattern in the background, drawn with a gold metallic marker.

We love the bright colorful results!

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John Nieto Inspired Animals

John Nieto is a contemporary Native American artist who paints animals with vibrant colors and bold lines. My students were especially drawn to the use of non-realistic colors.

My students used a similar style to paint animals, reptiles, fish, and insects.

After looking a Nieto’s art, students drew the animal of their choice in pencil on white construction paper.  To achieve the bold, black line work, we used the “Slick” black fabric paint to go over pencil lines.

When the fabric paint dried, students painted the animal with tempera paints – using some realistic colors combined with unexpected, totally unrealistic color choices.  Think violet ladybug.

After this paint dried, students carefully cut the animal out of the white paper, leaving the black outlines.

Students choose a pre-painted background paper that I spray-painted directly on construction paper, creating tonal gradations (ombre effects) in many color combinations.  After the animals were glued down, students added a collage element that showed a part of the background, such as seaweed for a fish or a rock for a lizard.

(This lesson was inspired by a lesson in a School Arts magazine – I think – from several years ago).