Friday, February 3, 2012

Pastel Sea Turtles

Central Idea: The seas and oceans are a resource for all life on earth
Visual Arts Line of Inquiry: Drawing the features of the seas and oceans

I am such a sucker for the glue/black paper/pastel combo.  Those strong black lines make such a difference in the final product. We did so much realistic drawing for this unit-- originally I told the kids they needed to use realistic colors as well for the turtles but when I let them loose with the pastels the results were way better---much more interesting than shades of brown. :)

A little trick I used to get the turtles to come off of the paper-- the kids drew their turtle in pencil on white A3 paper and then cut them out.  They tested arranging the turtle three different ways on the black paper before choosing one-- the only rule was part of the turtle had to be hanging off the black paper. Then they just traced their outline and drew in the details onto the black.  Much easier than redrawing the whole thing.

The turtle drawings were great practice for their Ocean Letters (part of the same unit.) I wanted them to be confident in drawing at least one animal (turtles in this case) before setting them loose to choose their ocean animal to draw for their final project.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Gilat-- I checked out your website--great stuff on there! You might be interested in a young artist with disabilities that I met in Cambodia last year:

      An inspiration indeed!

  2. So beautiful! I haven't done pastels with my kiddos since I don't have my own art room and need to clean up projects in 5 minutes and scoot out the door! These are great thoug! I will have to work them into my "Art From Nature" camps this summer...(those can be outside) thank you so much for sharing! From, Mrs. P (

  3. These are gorgeous! Love the bright colors! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Kris,
    sorry for the question but I am not an art teacher, I don't understand how I can make the black lines showing up.

    1. hi cristiana! the black lines are white glue (the kind that comes in a bottle with a small tip)-- it dries clear, so if you use it on black paper-- the black lines appear when the glue is dry. You can also do this on white paper if you add some black paint to the glue. :)