Gesture drawing for kids: Collaging the gestures and then some.. (art lessons 11& 12)

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painting their paper mache sculptures

We started off lesson 11 painting the  paper mache  sculptures. We mixed up the tempera paint we had to get the closest shade to flesh tones and got the above shade. (not too great, but workable)(This post is part of the art class series)

We had started the paper mache sculptures by having them create aluminum foil sculptures,  and manipulate them into various positions so I decided to take it further.

Gesture drawing, is  usually something done with older kids and adults to teach how people move  and how to draw them in various positions.

I created a sheet of stick figures in various positions and hung it up.

We then talked about what each figure was doing in each position. Even though they are only stick figures,you can still see clearly what they are doing.

gesture drawings

I gave them cut up pieces to be able to recreate any of the positions they wanted to by using these collage pieces. Squares for the head, long rectangles for the bodies and smaller, thinner rectangles for arms and legs.

collage  pieces for gesture drawings

I also introduced a Wooden Human Mannequin that you can push into any position to draw or paint from.

using mannequin for gesture collages

In this case they were collaging the positions. (some children tried drawing some of the positions as well)

gesture collage 1

holding hands gesture collage

jumping gesture collage

pasting gesture collages

running gesture collage

sitting gesture collage

There were a number of children that did not have an interest in doing those drawings so I gave them people collages to make.

dressing their girls

dressing their girls 2

I also did this activity with one of the  classes I teach in school and got very different results. I see that  materials  are what determines the outcome.

With the class in school I  gave them a template. (seen below). With this class I had them create their own heads even though, I did encourage them to make them large enough to work on.

empty person

I had some more stuff in school that suggested hair so that is what many of them used.

person 5

person 6

I originally thought the image below was Picasso like with no form, until I noticed the button face features.

person 7

As some of the class was working on their people collages I  offered others some more copying to work on.

I am still working on figuring  out the best way to teach them to copy pictures and I came up with this idea that I wanted to try.

I took 3 pictures I had  and copied pieces of the pictures into boxes. I wanted to see if the children  correctly reproduce all of the shapes of a picture, would that  help them reproduce the picture better.

I chose simple pictures. A flower, an elephant and a bicycle.

flower sheets

elephant sheets


bicycle sheets

This was one child’s attempt at reproduction. I realized that this was way beyond her capabilities.

attempt to copy sheets

Another child who tried it was much more successful, but then again her copying skills are above average.

copied bicycle sheets

She was actually able to go from the copying above to making a completed bicycle below.

3 bicycle sheeets

This is a first grade child and the results are quite unusual.

I  am not sure,if it was the  technique that allowed her to do this or just her copying skills.

I think the children need a whole slew of image copying exercises to keep getting progressively harder.

These may have been too hard and too big of a jump for most of the kids that tried it.

Stay tuned as I figure out the best way to do this.

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