Inspiring children one color at a time

Bug Paintings

By on Sep 9, 2013 | 8 comments

Bug-Drawings

It is sometimes required that I visit a classroom to conduct an art class. Last year, my first grade students were treated to such a visit. I say “treated” because art is usually conducted in my art room but because of standardized testing rules at my school (no movement between classes), it was easier for me to walk to their classroom than vice-versa.  I needed a lesson that didn’t require too much prep but I really wanted to do a painted bug lesson. I opted to use pan or puck tempera. They are perfect for stacking, sharing, and setting out.

drawing-bugs

The kids sat on the carpet while I showed them the different parts of a bug and how one might attempt to draw such bugs. For first graders I like to add as much whimsy as possible because that’s what 1st graders are good at. I followed the directed-drawing instructions for the Crazy Critters in my Line + Color= Fun Art Lesson Plan.

We started with eyes, added a head, mid-body line and then the body and finally some crazy legs. The kids drew with a Sharpie, but you could use a black oil pastel, black paint and crayon or even a pencil (but that’s my least favorite option and here’s why). I used 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper.

Click to download my art supply list. 

After the drawing was complete (about 20 minutes), I placed trays of tempera cakes on each table and allowed the children to paint as much or as little of their bug. The drawing is really amazing on its own, so if you opt to leave it as a line drawing (without color), it would be a great option to place the cut-out bug on a colored sheet of paper.

Another option would be to color with crayons, oil pastels or markers. The choices are unlimited!

Here’s what my first graders did….

Bug-Gallery

    8 Comments

  1. These are fun! Have you considered letting your first graders draw bugs from their own observation rather than directing them? I do quite a lot of observational drawing with very young children (4-6 yrs), working from the life, or from photographs, and always try to encourage them to “draw what you see”. I start by pointing out some of the key shapes, forms and details they should pay attention to, but then I let the children interpret the subject in their own way. My “Beetle Detail” project a few years ago was inspired by biologist Alex Wild’s incredible photos of beetles, and the resulting drawings blew me away with their intricacy and accuracy. http://hannahsartclub.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/beetle-detail-observational-drawing-autumn-2010/

    Hannah

    September 9, 2013

    • Yes, I love observational drawings. I usually do one a year with my first graders. I only have them for 15 classes so I divvy up the techniques.Love your insects! Thanks for sharing.

      Patty Palmer

      September 9, 2013

  2. What is pan or puck tempera?

    Cathy

    September 9, 2013

    • Both…I use both names for the puck tempera (cake/puck/pan). Is pan tempera different? Thanks for clarifying!

      Patty Palmer

      September 10, 2013

  3. I recently purchased the Line + Color + Fun lesson plan pack and I have tried all of them. I just finished the bug drawings with my 3rd graders and they loved it! We used Neon colored markers to fill in their patterns and the kids were so proud of their work! It was a great lesson! Thanks so much!!!!!

    ctlee5@att.net

    September 10, 2013

  4. Love the bug Paintings and the beautiful website, great to see the work you are doing with the young artists Patty.

    Carla Daly

    October 3, 2013

  5. Hi the bug lesson plan was really interesting and creative.
    I would like to know if you used any familiar artist for this lesson plan.
    Regards
    Sital

    sital

    July 17, 2014

    • No artist inspiration, just creepy crawly bugs!

      Patty Palmer

      July 17, 2014

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  1. Teaching Art From a Cart - […] examples of how you can offer great art projects with few supplies. Younger kids (K-3) will enjoy drawing insects with …

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