Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shading Cylinders

Last year about this time, motivated by Kathy at Art Projects for Kids and a couple of Artsonia posts, our 3rd graders were shading cylinders to look like bamboo shoots (see here). I loved the results and wanted to revisit this skill with them as 4th graders, only with a new twist. We'll be taking a look at Dale Chihuly's video clip in his website where he is shading some cylinders using charcoal and we'll also see how some of Wayne Theibaud's cylinders show a light source and shadows.

After brainstorming what some different cylinders are, students will be using their light source icons, colored cardstock and oil pastels to shade and tint cylinders that "go off the page." I use cardstock from an office supply store because I like the smooth texture. (I've tried this with construction paper, but don't like it as well.)
Here is an example of the steps using reptiles:
The first step is to make a vertical section of the reptile's body, using a main color (or colors) of oil pastels.
The next step is to color white oil pastel in a vertical strip on the highlighted side and black on the shaded side. This can be messy because it will be covered in the next step.

This is the fun part. I tell the kids "It's where the magic happens!" They use their original color(s) of oil pastels to color over everything again, smearing or blending the white and black into the mail color. It helps to do this with horizontal strokes.
Then come the heads. Measuring the width of each reptile where they will be connected, students use the same technique to make the head look 3-dimensional, too.
They will glue the head on the back of the main paper and then glue the whole thing onto a background color.
Other options of cylinders might be pencils, paintbrushes, crayons, etc.

We'll see what students come up with. The possibilities are endless!!
Check back later in the week for student work.


  1. GREAT project! I love the break out of the image. Very nice!

  2. Your students did a wonderful job! I can't wait to try this with my kid-o's.

  3. I think the kids will LOVE the snakes idea. Looks cool!

  4. Thanks. I'm looking forward to this week. I was thinking last night that toothpaste tubes would be fun! (maybe with the toothpaste oozing out!!)

  5. Outstanding results.
    Your students did a fantastic job.

  6. Or paint tubes!!! Great ideas can't wait to see if the kids come up with any others. They always surprise me with the best ideas!

  7. taking it outside the frame is awesome! Cant wait to try this.