IT’S SNOWING! – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background

Students use oil pastels to create a picture on overhead transparency. The completed drawing is glued to a piece of construction paper with the oil pastel side facing down. 

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 2 to Grade 8

Subject

Language Arts
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

background blend contrast foreground highlights middle ground

Materials

Onion Skin Tracing Paper Oil Pastels Markers White Glue Glitter Glue Construction Paper

Steps

IT’S SNOWING! – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step One

Step One

  1. Draw the picture on a piece of onion skin tracing paper.
  2. Include details in the foreground, middle ground and background.
  3. Check to see that you have enough details to make it interesting.
IT’S SNOWING! – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Turn the paper over and place it face down on the desk.
  2. The drawing will be coloured in reverse because the transparency will be placed with the oil pastel side facing down once it is finished. 
  3. Place a piece of overhead transparency on top of the drawing.
  4. You may want to tape the paper to the transparency to keep it from shifting as you work.
IT’S SNOWING! – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Colour the picture using oil pastels. 
  2. Blend colours and create contrasting areas.
IT’S SNOWING! – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Turn the overhead transparency over.
IT’S SNOWING! – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Place the drawing on top of a piece of coloured construction paper with the oil pastel side facing down .
  2. Check to see if there is enough contrast and if there is anything else you want to do to the composition.
IT’S SNOWING! – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Clean up some areas to create better contrast.
IT’S SNOWING! – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Try outlining some details with a marker.
IT’S SNOWING! – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. When you are satisfied with the drawing glue it to the construction paper with the oil pastel side facing down.
  2. Place a small drop of Crayola Washable Glue in each corner of the picture and press it lightly to the construction paper.
  3. The glue will dry clear. 
IT’S SNOWING! – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Nine

Step Nine

  1. Add some highlights with Super Sparkle glitter glue. 
  2. Allow glue to dry for about 20 minutes.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Create an oil pastel drawing using blending techniques;
  2. Include details in the foreground, middle ground and background to create the illusion of depth; 
  3. Use contrast to create the illusion of depth;
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; and
  5. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

Extensions

  1. Use a mini version of this technique to make greeting cards for special occasions such as Mother's Day.

Prepare

  1. This lesson allows students to apply and practice what they learn in a techniques lesson. Prior to this lesson have students experiment with oil pastels. (See EXPERIMENTING WITH OIL PASTELS in Techniques.)
    OIL PASTELS
  2. Gather materials needed for this lesson. 
  3. Place students in groups of about 6 so they can share the oil pastels.
  4. Download an image of people in a snowy landscape. For example,
    Snowball fight and snowman

 

Introduction

  1. Display the picture.
  2. Discuss the story being told in the picture.
    What's going on here?
  3. Focus on the division of space.
  4. Ask children:
    Who is the person closest to us in this picture?
    - What do you see that makes you say that?

    - Who is the person furthest away from us in this picture?
  5. Continue in this way so students see the division of space and things the artist has done to create the illusion of depth. For example,
    - Objects higher on the picture plane appear to be further away
    - Objects in the distance appear to be smaller
    - Colours in the distance appear to be paler and duller
    - Cast shadows make objects seem 3-dimensional
  6. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Create an oil pastel drawing using blending techniques.
  2. Include details in the foreground, middle ground and background to create the illusion of depth. 
  3. Use contrast to create the illusion of depth.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Ask students to close their eyes and think about the first snowfall this year. 
  2. What was the schoolyard like at recess time?
  3. Guide them to visualize the scene and what they were doing in it.
  4. Ask them to choose one part of the scene to draw. 
    - What colours do you see?
    - How many people are with you?
    - What are you doing?
    - What is happening in the middle ground?
    - What is happening in the background?
  5. Walk students through the steps in this project.
  6. Observe students as they work. From time to time ask them to stop and view their work from a bit of a distance so they can see it with 'fresh eyes'.
  7. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Display the completed drawings for a group discussion. Remind students of the challenge.
  2. Ask students to:
    Look closely at the drawings.
    - Choose one that interests you for some reason.
    - Share thoughts about the work.
  3. During the discussion include references to:
    contrast - how it has been used to create depth
    - space - for example, how objects in the foreground appear closer because they are bigger and lower on the picture plane
    - technique – the effects of different blending techniques

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work. Use the Teacher Observation Sheet to note progress while students are working. (Downloads – SNOWFALL_tracking.pdf)
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works.
  3. Have students fill out a First Snowfall self-assessment form. (Downloads – SNOWFALL_self-assessment.pdf)