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Submitted by: Joani Share, Arcadia High School, Phoenix, Arizona
UNIT: Animals in Art - Drawing
Lesson: Animals in Art - Choice of Media
Grade Level: Advanced High School (adaptable to other levels)
Animals in Art
Do you have a favorite pet? Do you miss a pet that no longer is around? Do you love/hate insects, rats or snakes? Do you have a feeling one way or another about endangered animals, the use of animals in medical/cosmetic testing? Are you for or against the wearing of fur in coats for humans? Do you feel one way or another about trapping wolves or coyotes? Do you like to fish? These are questions to stimulate the brain!
See IAD's Animals in Art & Animal Symbolism
Create a composition that includes an animal or animal parts. You must include more than just the animal – this is NOT an animal portrait.
UNITY – Find some element in your piece that ties your composition together- it could be shape, color, or texture.
BALANCE - Decide if this will be a symmetrical or asymmetrical composition.
MEDIA: Your choice of media, or mixed media: Acrylic Paint, Colored Pencils, Drawing Pencils, Oil Pastels, AquaMarkers, Tempera Paint, Watercolor Paint, Oil Paint, Drawing Paper, Watercolor Paper and/or Sable Brushes.
Click on the images for full size
Look through the books on the table. There will be books that include animals in art as well as books that focus on animal anatomy. Use the word "animal" loosely- it can include reptile, insect, amphibian, etc.
Look through National Geographic magazines for animals and habitats.
Use the net to help find an animal or grouping of animals.
Include your pet in your composition.
Animals: 1,419 Copyright-Free Illustrations of Mammals, Birds, Fish, Insects, etc. - This collection of wood engravings presents over 1,000 species of animals in extremely lifelike poses. Includes many different versions of familiar mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, and other invertebrates such as spiders, crabs, squid, earthworms, and more.
The Art of Animal Drawing: Construction, Action Analysis, Caricature - Former Disney animator offers expert advice with over 700 illustrations on drawing animals both realistically and as caricatures. Use of line, brush technique, establishing mood, conveying action, much more. Construction drawings reveal development process in creating animal figures.
Be inventive! Don’t think traditional- find a way to expand your animal views. This is not a poster, but it could be apolitical statement. Look for textures or patterns that could be the starting point for your composition.
Find some resources- maybe pictures or sections. Cut them out- put them in your sketchbook.
Invent, explore, and stretch BEFORE you begin your final composition.