For this months art lesson with First Graders, I wanted a project that came from their own imaginations and displayed their creative expression.
Knowing that my own children had invented wonderful monsters with charcoal, I decided to make colourful ones with oil pastel.
Some children struggle with inventing a character from their imagination, so I started the lesson with a book to provide inspiration and illustration of shape, texture and size.
I chose the book Sleepy Monsters, Creepy Monsters because the text is simple and does not distract from the visual images and the illustrations depict a variety of monsters.
We talked through the pictures, noting features such as eyes on sticks, number of legs, spikes and shapes and discussing the function of these features.
Once the story had finished I instructed them to think for a few minutes about what they would like their monster to be.
Did it have a particular function?
Where did it live?
What would it eat?
Was it a kind or scary monster?
The children then drew their outline shapes on the paper. Once I had checked the size of the monster, the children were given oil pastels to add detail and colour it in. I asked them not to leave any white spaces, except for the background so that they would be as vibrant as possible.
When the children were satisfied with their drawings, they were show how to use a Q tip/ cotton bud dipped in baby oil to blend the oil pastels to a smooth finish, without any white spaces.
Finally they outlined their drawings with a black sharpie to add definition.
The background was applied with a watercolour wash.
I asked my daughter about her monster.
The 2 eyes on the right can turn all the way back, so they can see behind them.
It has spikes to protect itself from people. Monsters are scared of people, that’s why they attack us.
It’s favourite food is carrots.
He is 8.
He likes to make monsters out of pipe cleaners.