DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth

Students explore the idea of depth of space. They use markers and water to draw a background scene. On a separate paper they draw an animal. The animal is photocopied in two smaller sizes. All are cut out and glued into place.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 8

Subject

Art Techniques
Language Arts
Mathematics
Science
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

background depth foreground middle ground picture plane shading space

Materials

Original Broad Line Markers Crayola Marker and Watercolour Paper Paint Brushes Water Containers Plastic Placemat Masking Tape Small Pieces of Foam Core Board Scissors Glue Stick

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Steps

DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step One

Step One

  1. Tape the paper to a plastic placemat.
  2. Draw the background scene getting inspiration from research photos.
  3. Block in key details in pencil.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Draw an outline with marker. Paint into the marker with water.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Draw some marker onto a plastic lid.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Paint into the marker with water to liquify it. Colour large areas of your scene using this marker ink.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Use both techniques to complete your scene.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Paint over dry areas. Things further back in the picture look muted. Painting purple over the other colours helps create the feeling of shadows and depth.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Set the background picture aside.
  2. Refer to your research photo as you draw your animal. Remember to look at the animal picture often. Make the animal fairly large. 
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Use the marker technique to colour the animal drawing.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Nine

Step Nine

  1. Photocopy the animal drawing in two smaller sizes, for example, one at 75% and another at 50% of original size. 
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Ten

Step Ten

  1. Cut out the original animal drawing.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Eleven

Step Eleven

  1. Colour the two photocopied drawings and cut them out.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Twelve

Step Twelve

  1. Gently remove the tape from the background drawing.
  2. Figure out where you want to place the animals. The smallest one should be highest on the picture plane and the largest one should be lowest on the picture plane. Try overlapping the animals. 
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Thirteen

Step Thirteen

  1. Once you are happy with the arrangement begin to glue the animals down. Glue the smallest one first.
  2. Position it and lightly press it into place.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Fourteen

Step Fourteen

  1. Place a spare piece of paper over the animal and rub it gently. The paper keeps the animal shape from tearing or moving while you press it onto the page. Repeat with the middle sized animal.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Fifteen

Step Fifteen

  1. Glue some small pieces of foam core board onto the back of the largest animal. These will raise the shape and make the whole composition feel more 3-dimensional. Be sure to place the small pieces all over the back of the animal.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Sixteen

Step Sixteen

  1. Put glue on each piece of foam core board. Press the animal shape onto the picture plane and gently turn it over.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Seventeen

Step Seventeen

  1. Gently press the paper to fix the large animal in place. Turning it over allows you to apply even pressure without tearing or moving the shape.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Eighteen

Step Eighteen

  1. Add some shadows under the animals.
DRAWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD – Illusion of Depth - Step Nineteen

Step Nineteen

In the completed picture we see:

  1. Overlapping – Objects block out parts of other objects and get progressively smaller.
  2. Elevated Objects – Objects higher in the picture plane appear farther away.
  3. Relative Sizes – Objects in front look larger than those in the middle and background.
  4. Shading – Areas modeled with light and shadow give the illusion that they are 3-dimensional and occupy space.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Create a picture of animals in the wild using marker plus water technique;
  2. Use colour, contrast of size, and placement of figures to create the illusion of depth;
  3. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; and
  4. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

Extensions

  1. Students imagine that their animal has come to visit.
  2. They create a series of drawings that show the animal as tour guide roaming around the neighbourhood and commenting on things of interest.

Prepare

  1. Prior to this lesson have students experiment with marker plus water techniques in their sketchbooks. (See Marker Plus Water Techniques lesson plan.)
    Marker Plus Water
  2. IMPORTANT!! This technique works best on Crayola Watercolour and Marker paper. If you are using other paper be sure to test it before you begin.
  3. Have students choose a wild animal to research. They should have at least one image of the animal in its natural environment. 

Introduction

  1. Have students examine the details of their animal and its environment. 
  2. Guide them to focus on the composition of the pictures, the placement of objects, for example, and the detail and colours in the setting.
  3. Ask them to think about what their setting will be like.
  4. Next ask them to examine the animal. 
  5. Guide them to think about size, texture, shape and details.
  6. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Create a drawing of animals in the wild.
  2. Use marker plus water technique to show shadows and blending.
  3. Use colour,  contrast of size, and placement of figures to create the illusion of depth.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

 

The Process

  1. Explain that this picture will be composed using two separate pieces of paper. First they will make the setting of their scene, then they will make the largest animal.
  2. Have students examine the photographs of their animal and decide what things they will include in their setting. 
  3. Demonstrate how to tape the paper to the placemat.
  4. Guide students through the steps.

Sharing

  1. Once all the drawings are complete display them for a group discussion. Remind students of the challenge.
  2. Look closely at the drawings.
  3. Ask students to choose one that interests them for some reason.
  4. Share thoughts about the work.
  5. During the discussion include references to:
    contrast in size – how smaller objects appear further away from the viewer
    placement – how objects higher on the picture plane appear further away from the viewer

    overlapping – how placement of one object behind another makes it seem further away from the viewer
    colour – how muted colours appear further away from the viewer and create shadows
    technical accomplishment – how condition of paper, careful cutting and gluing, and attention to detail contribute to technical accomplishment

 

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work  – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - ANIMALS_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - ANIMALS_self-assessment.pdf)