Inspired by Illustrator Marz Jr and pictures of New York skyscrapers, kids draw a retro line drawing

Skyscraper Line Drawing

5

Inspired by Illustrator Marz Jr and pictures of New York skyscrapers, kids draw a retro line drawing

Inspired by illustrator, Marz Jr. 5th grade students looked at pictures of skyscrapers and created a retro line drawing of their observations.

Inspired by Illustrator Marz Jr and pictures of New York skyscrapers, kids draw a retro line drawing

The students used a black Sharpie marker to draw the contour lines of a skyscraper (we looked at famous New York landmarks) and then got busy adding the dozens and dozens of extra windows and doors. I suggested drawing 2-3 skyscrapers on the colored paper and leaving enough room for a 4th skyscraper somewhere on the paper.

Inspired by Illustrator Marz Jr and pictures of New York skyscrapers, kids draw a retro line drawing

After drawing the skyscrapers on colored paper, I handed out sheets of 12″ x 9″ sulphite paper so the student could draw a final building. They cut the building from the white paper and glued to the colored paper. Stunning results!

Inspired by Illustrator Marz Jr and pictures of New York skyscrapers, kids draw a retro line drawing. Fifth grade gallery


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  • Rina

    Hi Patty

    I love this! Simple materials, but hey look so sophisticated they could be pro illustrations!

  • Faigie

    I wonder how young you can have kids do this project. Maybe even first have them create backgrounds that are painted to put the skyscrapers on?I guess with the time limit that would only work for parents doing this with their kids at home

    • Patty Palmer

      There is no time limit. I had 50 minutes but you could take as long as you like. A painted background would be very cool!

  • Joe

    Hi Patty, the “retro-ness” rocks! Black and white with a single colour is so effective too : )

  • Renee

    Hi Patty,
    Love this project! I needed a quick lesson for some pretty sophisticated 4th graders and this is perfect! Trying it in the morning! Thanks so much!

  • jaka

    Wow nice Line drawing… i like acent color..

  • Childrens art classes in Garden City

    Saw this site and loved the artwork. wondering if there were classes you offered?

  • sara's art house

    I love your site! I always find good projects to do with my kids! THANK YOU!!!! 🙂

  • Victoria

    Wow, very cool! My 7 year old loves to draw and make art at home so we will definitely be trying this. It looks like it would be fun for me too. 🙂

  • stacy

    love the cut out here-what a difference that makes!

  • kathy by anthomeli

    fantastic!

  • Heather

    These are so great, Patty! Could make a collaborative 3D version of them, Barbara Gilhooly style! Have a unit on built environments coming up… might just try that! Thanks, yet again!

  • Renee Adams

    Patty,
    I did this lesson, as I mentioned above, with my talented 4th graders and one of them one a Silver medal at out regional art show! This is an amazing lesson with fabulous results!

  • don masse

    Hi Patty,
    I just rolled out a Marz Jr. and deep space sparkle project with my 4th graders this week. Check it out:)
    http://zamoranoarts.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-marz-landing.html

  • Afeni Neville

    I did this but with the London skyline. Impressive results.

  • Sharon

    Did you do any work with perspective before this lesson?

    • Patty Palmer

      Only as far as drawing a second side to a building. We mostly talked about skyscraper shapes and how to draw with lines.

  • Jennifer Eagle

    I love these! I want to try this with my fifth graders this week, but I am worried about how to teach them to draw the buildings. I like how your students seemed to use free lines. Do I just ban rulers?

    • Patty Palmer

      Yes, don’t use rulers. It prevents the student from moving freely throughout the project. Rulers would add rigidity to the skyscrapers but that would also be interesting. Two different projects. If you wanted to incorporate math into the lesson, I would use rules. If you want to create art, I would do without them!

  • Donna Rheaves

    I love the idea of the skyscrapers! I was thinking of matching them with a creative writing project. A young boy has a summer and weekend job delivering lunches to peope who live and work in one of the buildings. He dare not open the brown paper bags with those lucious aromas, so he makes up stories about the tenant s and the food they’ve ordered.