With autumn, it is easy for teachers to fall into the pattern of exploring, with their students, the changing colours of the season, with a focus on leaves, trees, and soon after that, pumpkins.
Sometimes it nice to notice the other things that are happening during the season, one being, bird migration.
Today the students looked at the stylized geese images of our first nations, living on the west coast. Respectfully, I’m going to begin by sharing a map.
We talked a little bit about British Columbia vacations and I showed the students where you would be heading, if you were on an Alaskan cruise. I Introduced them to Haida Gwaii and the people’s art of Haida Gwaii. I showed a short video featuring Todd Baker’s prints and reflected with the students about the images, colours and shapes.
I then showed the students this image so that they could see the various form line designs included the in these particular geese depictions and then we folded a standard sheet of paper to create sketch booklets for the purpose of experimentation and studies.
I used the word ‘simulation’ with the students, reminding them that we are looking at and simulating the types of form lines that would be used by west coast artists.
For the depiction segment of the lesson, I askd the students to draw silhouettes of Canadian geese. What is a silhouette? It is the dark shape and outline of someone or something visible against a lighter background, especially in dim light.
Talk to the students about migration formations. Ask them for their narratives and memories of watching geese migrate.
Have several exemplars of silhouettes for the students to use as references, reminding them to draw the simple shapes as large as possible. Each student will be creating their own Canadian goose filled with form line designs.
Here is an example of one of the references used to show silhouettes..
Once the students settled on one of their depicted silhouettes, then they began to lightly include form line designs within their white silhouette drawings, in order to capture the spirits of the geese.
The students began their depiction, using the three main form line designs; the U shape, crescent shape and trigon shape. If the motivation is big time, then try to create other animals using the same shapes.
As the form line designs are used, the designs may pick up something similar to North West Coast first nations art.
Demonstrate on the white board, the crescent shape, the U shape and the trigon shape. Students may then begin colouring in their designs, using the specific palette, red, white and black. I think because the edges need to be clean, the scented markers would like achieve the best result. The other option, is to follow up this lesson with a construction paper collage, using the same colours and glue stick.
The designs, once finished should not show any of the under-drawing, but be strong bold patterns of red, white and black.
For teachers who are curious and really want to explore this history, I love this movie. Thanks, to Sara for her class!