We've seen it before, the age old exercise of shading cones, cylinders, spheres, and cubes, and boring the artistic spirit out of our students. My twist is to have students chat and write about their favorite cartoons they lived as younger kids. We laughed at how creepy Teletubbies were, or how funny SpongeBob and Patrick were, or the game characters they loved. Each student printed out an image of their favorite about the size of their open hand.
I created a video to help students through the process.
- Draw the forms and the paper they were sitting on
- Draw the cartoon so it looked like it was on a 3D surface
- Add shadows to the forms and then the cast shadows.
The whole exploration took about 5 class days from printing images to final shading. We worked on 12 x 18 inch paper, but any size will do. We used cartoons, but any image on the surface would be fine, maybe even patterned paper. I just found that cartoons were a great motivator, made the lesson a bit more fun, and resulted in some fun conversations. I always try to connect student work back to their interests.