These graphic line illustrations are perfect for fourth grade when many children love to doodle. Instead of leaving the drawings black and white, you can take it a step further and either color in with marker or watercolor paints.
Drawing a Grid
It doesn’t really matter how the kids divide up their paper, but I can tell you what’s easiest. Two straight lines across the paper and two lines down. Simple. Of course, some kids will go a bit crazy adding intersecting lines, but they will figure out that this method is limiting.
Drawing Shapes, Lines and Patterns
This step can either be fun or frustrating. Many kids will go to town creating their lines and patterns, but many won’t. Ideas will expire after the second square, so be a good Girl Scout and be prepared. Have a plethora of squiggles and patterns available to them.
You can do this in a couple of ways. Either provide them with a handy-dandy handout (obviously this is not my method or it would be included in this post) or run amok and create some of your own patterns on the whiteboard. Brainstorm. Have fun. Create some lousy patterns and some good ones. Need not be perfect.
Tip: Use a waterproof black marker. Sharpies are the ideal choice but if such pens aren’t available, use Prismacolor markers. Expensive, but are waterproof. To avoid the waterproof problem all together, don’t use watercolor paints in Step 3.
As I mentioned above, you must use a waterproof black marker if you intend to paint the patterns. If you don’t, you will end up with black smears covering the paper. I subjected one such class to this unfortunate blunder, and although the kids were enthusiastic in spirit, I know it caused inner turmoil with my young artists. But let’s face it, using markers is easier and requires less set-up. So dig out your bins of markers and let the kids go at it. This is a great activity for kids to finish up during “free time” so keep the art accessible.
Making the Art Dramatic
To kick this piece up a notch, add strips of black construction paper along the straight lines. Use a glue stick and make sure the kids snip off the ends. I think it finishes the piece well, but it does take some time.
Note: This graphic line art project takes longer to complete than you might expect. I allowed two 45-minute sessions for this project and only 25% finished the entire project. Many kids didn’t want to complete it because it took so much time, so here’s a thought. Cut your paper in half. I used a 12″ x 18″ piece so reduce it to 9″ x 6″ and you’ll increase your productivity.
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