PROPORTION OF THE HUMAN FORM
[CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF STUDENT WORK]
Level: Junior, Middle School
Grades: 3-8 | Age: 8 - 14yrs | Written by: Nancy Scoble
[Nancy is an art teacher at Washington Montessori Public Charter School in Washington, NC]
Students will appreciate the length and width of the human form as they create human figures in motion using torn paper.
What You Need:
What You Do:
- Art mannequins, if possible (see below)
- Scrap paper or paper cut into credit card sizes
- 8 1/2" x 11" construction paper
- Glue sticks
- Glittery, metallic papers
- Wallpaper sample books, if possible
- Students study wooden Mannequin(s) as supplies are handed out.
- Teacher instructs students to: *stretch their arms, *bend the arm, at the elbow, *stretch the leg, *bend at the knee, *bend at the waist
- Acknowledge the various shapes of students (and teacher) in their classroom. *tall or short waisted students, *long legs ~ short legs, *cropped hair ~ streaming hair
- Demonstrate tearing the small pieces of paper into smaller pieces as well as how to use the glue stick.
- Explain to the students that they will be creating human figures on the paper using torn pieces of paper.
- Demonstrate how to build a human figure on the 8 1/2" x 11" construction paper. Start with the head.
Discuss the size, position, and shape of the head. Locating the head in the upper third of the page may indicate a body leaping across a stage or jumping on a trampoline.
- Students begin to assemble their own figures by tearing paper in small, half inch pieces.
- Students then begin to adhere the small colored pieces of paper to the larger 8 1/2" x 11" construction paper, as they construct a human figure.
- Instruct students to keep adding small pieces of paper allow to amend the shape as it develops.
Notes from the Author
- NO PENCIL SKETCHING ALLOWED in this exercise.
- Try to discourage detailing the eyes and mouth. The lesson is on proportion. I have found that the student suffers time and great disappointment for it is much harder to tear paper to fit into the rendered oval of a head or the muscled length of a leg.
- I allowed four, 40 minute sessions for the activity.
- Students who worked their theme speedily were encouraged to develop a foreground, a sky area, or even accompanying figures or animals.
- The last day, special glittery papers were provided to detail their work.
- Mention the maxim, 'Less is More'. (A spray of perfume is better than pouring a bottle over my head!)
Click here to see photos of student work.
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