Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Surrealistic Shaded Drawings

For high school students, the Surrealism movement is an easy fit.  They always seem to enjoy the strange and interesting work of Salvador Dali and Renee Magritte. For me, “The Persistence of Memory” is on the list of “you need to recognize this” paintings.
In Art 2 (sophomores) we start our Surrealism Shaded Drawing unit with a video introducing Salvador Dali and the surrealism movement.  We look at several works by Surrealist artists (especially Dali and Magritte) and then they begin crafting a surrealistic idea of their own. 

To help them with this, I remind them that they are putting things together that you would not normally find together and shading these items in a very realistic way.  (Sur-realism = beyond realism.)  

To jump start their brains when they give me blank looks, I ask them to make a list of places (big and small, but small seems to work better) and objects and then use those lists to mix and match items and places in unique and interesting ways.

Once they have sketched out a few ideas and chosen the one that visually works best, I ask them to either take resource photos, or find resources photos that can be combined to help them make the final drawings as accurate as possible. 

This part of the project adds an extra dimension of challenge as students work to make their resources appear as if they belong together, dealing with lighting changes and value challenges that need to be resolved to make the drawings work.

Happy Shading!