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Laurel Burch Cats

I stole this idea from somebody (Phyllis, maybe?) and boy, was it successful!

First I made a powerpoint of Laurel Burch’s cats over the years.  We looked close at the rich colors and imaginative patterning and talked about the realistic/abstract qualities of her work.  Then we got oil pastels (black or yellow.  I think next year we’ll all use black) and I had them draw along with me.  I started with eyes – I find that ensures a large enough size outcome in the end.  Then we drew eyebrows which connected to the sides of the nose, and I let the kids take it from there.  Before we painted we watched the” analogous” section from “Getting to Know Color in Art”   and talked about warm/cool contrast and how to make analogous colors with watercolor.  Finally I harped and harped about “Transparent!! Juicy!!  Thin and see-through like Koolade!!” and helped kids to make puddles of transparent watercolor in the lids of the trays, painting wet into wet but never scrubbing thick paint out of the pans.  Last thing was cutting out and gluing onto black backgrounds.  This simple step totally made the difference between a pretty good looking display and one that’s gotten scads of positive attention from everybody that walks in our school.  Definitely a keeper, this lesson!

3 Responses to Laurel Burch Cats

  1. Thanks for giving me credit for your Laurel Burch cats, but mine are papier-mache cats. I’ve seen other draw/colored/painted/collaged versions all over the blogs, and I’ve pinned a bunch on Pinterest, but all I’ve done is the papier-mache ones. But thanks for thinking of me! Yes my full name is Phyllis but most of my blog friends know me as Phyl.

    • Sorry Phyl- I just see so much great stuff on you site that I attribute it to you at random.
      Thanks for straightening me out, and I hope you’re enjoying your… being elsewhere besides classroom!

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