This lesson came from the summer ’07 issue of Arts and Activities Magazine. Writer/Art teacher Debra Sweeney created a great project that tied American history with personal history. Her lesson involved researching family trees, but I decided to stick with the pure art possibilities of this amazing monument.
Drawing Lady Liberty
Draw Lady Liberty in black waterproof marker. Start with the letter “U” for the face, then add a band for the bottom part of the crown. Add in the points. Draw two lines for the neck and then, starting on the left hand side of the paper (about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way up from the bottom) draw a series of cascading slopes. This is the drapery of the arm and shoulder. Add ringlets for hair and then the face.
Adding the newsprint…
Before the class, I took a bunch of sections from the newspaper and sprayed it with a watercolor solution (green and black liquid watercolor diluted in water). This is best done outside unless you want green carpet or floors.
Using a light box (which works the best) or a sunny window, the students traced their liberty faces onto the green-tinged newsprint. They included the face, neck and shoulders only. The cut-out newspaper face is glued over the original drawing. Do you have to do this step? No. Perhaps it would be easier just to draw the face onto the newsprint. Next time, this is what I will do!
Adding color and embellishments…
The students were instructed to think of scenes that symbolize America or New York City. Broadway, fireworks, American flag, skyline, etc. The different ideas were wonderful. Using markers (prismacolor markers are the best) the students colored in any section they wished. Some kids used oil pastel with watercolor washes, tempera paints and even translucent paper to create amazing affects for their background.
My fifth grade class had a great time demonstrating their unique art perspectives with this piece. No two were alike!