Foundations Fine Arts Drawing Projects for Cycle 2

I am tutoring my youngest daughter's Foundations class for my Classical Conversations community this year. 

We always do a Fine Arts lesson as part of our Foundations class. 

For the first six weeks of Fine Arts, we teach drawing lessons based on Mona Brookes's Drawing With Children

I decided to plan drawing projects related to the current history cycle. 

Here are my plans for the six weeks of drawing for Cycle 2- The Middle Ages.

Week 1- OiLS/ Crown

Introduce The Five Elements of Shape (OiLS) using my homemade poster. 

For warm-up: 

Show the class three different pictures of crowns, each progressively more complicated, and ask students to break the images down into the five elements of shape. Ask them what shapes they see. I got images of crowns off Google by searching for "Crown Free Clip Art."

For the lesson: 

Show the students a finished drawing of a crown, so they can picture what their own crowns will look like. Then show them step-by-step how to draw another crown in class.  

Here's the finished crown I showed the class:

Here's the crown I drew in class (not colored):

Have students add their own elements of shape to decorate their crowns and then color them in with markers, crayons, or colored pencils.

Here's one of my student's crowns decorated with her own elements of shape and colored as she chose.

Here's my youngest daughter's crowns. She's one of my students. 

I got the idea for drawing a crown from this Art with Alli video

Week 2- Symmetry/ Coat of Arms

Review The Five Elements of Shape using my poster. Talk about symmetry in nature and in art. 

For warm-up: 

Let students fill in the other half of the page of shields. I drew this warm up myself using ideas from Drawing With Children.

For the lesson: 

Show students a finished drawing of a Coat of Arms. Then show them how to draw one step-by-step, making it personal with their own letter and elements of design. 

Here's the finished drawing I showed students to begin:

Here's the drawing I made in class:

Allow students to color them in using markers, crayons, or colored pencils. Here's my daughter's Coat of Arms. 

Week 3- Upside Down Image/ A Lion (for Richard the Lionhearted) 

Review The Five Elements of Shape using my poster. 

For warm-up: 

Encourage students to reproduce the series of shapes. I made this warm-up myself based on sample warm-ups in Drawing With Children.

The lesson: 

Do not show the students the finished drawing beforehand. This drawing is supposed to done upside down with the idea that a person can look at an image and reproduce the elements of shapes and successfully draw anything, even if a person doesn't know what he or she is drawing and even if she is drawing something upside down.  

We drew a lion. 

We started with the chin at the top of the page and drew down to the top of his head, etc. Then we turned the images right side up to color them with oil pastels.

Here's the lion I drew upside down, shown right side up, of course:

Here's one of my student's lions:

I got the idea for drawing a lion upside down from this video from Art with Alli

Week 4- Abstract/ Stained-Glass

Review The Five Elements of Shape with my poster. 

For warm-up: 

Give each student a paper and a Sharpie. Roll a dice and draw an abstract picture using the random shapes that go with the number rolled, according to this game's instructions. Give students one color of their to briefly add interest to their drawing, but move on quickly, since this is only a warm-up.

For the lesson: 

Show students a finished stained-glass. Point out the letters of your name: V-E-R-O-N-I-C-A. Pass out a piece of paper. Tape it to the desk. Pass out a piece of wax paper. Tape it over the paper. With a Sharpie, students draw the letters of their names over each other to create an abstract design the size of the paper beneath. Students color in the spaces between the letters with crayons. 

Help students glue black slips of construction paper on the front and back of their waxed paper to create a frame around their window. Label the wax paper with students' names. Allow the frames to dry. Finish the frames and/ or cut of the excess wax paper at home, writing student names on the back of the window frame in white pencil.

Here's my stained glass window:

Here's one of my student's stained glass windows:

Week 5- Perspective/ Castle

Review The Five Elements of Shape with my poster. 

For warm-up: 

Look at three pictures that show perspective. Google "Castle in perspective" for free images to use.  Discuss how objects closer to the foreground appear larger; Objects farther away appear smaller (even if they are actually bigger.)

For the lesson:

Show students a finished drawing of a castle. Show them how to draw a castle in perspective step-by-step. Allow them to color their pictures till time is up. 

Here's my finished drawing of the castle:

Here's one of my student's drawings:

Week 6- Combine all lessons for a Final Project/ Illuminated Letter

For warm-up: 

Display the poster, but skip the review and show students a few examples of finished illuminated letters. Briefly talk through the elements of shape in the letters. 

For the lesson: 

Print out the first letter of each student's name before class, and pass those out to the students. Drawing with pencils first, show students how to use the ruler to create a straight border. Show them how to arrange the edge of their letter over the border on the page to create perspective. Allow students to switch to Sharpies and trace and decorate their borders and color them in. Once students are down coloring, give each student a dab of silver or gold paint and a brush and allow them to paint in their letter. Set letters aside to dry and/ or take them home. 

Here's one of my illuminated letters I showed as an example:

Here are some of my students' letters:

Here's my daughter's illuminated letter:

At the end of the six weeks, I made each student a book out of their artwork and gave them to students to take home on Week 7.

These six weeks were incredibly fun and rewarding. I could teach drawing all year long; I enjoy it so much!  

I did a lot of work to ensure the drawings went along with the history theme and I practiced my drawing ahead of class so that the time in class would be well spent on creating outstanding keepsakes. 

Our family has been in Classical Conversations for ten whole years, so we have several of these books of artwork made by our daughter's tutors over the years and years of Foundations drawing lessons, and we cherish them all!



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