I haven’t found a group of students of any age who does not enjoy drawing animals. This animal project is a great introduction to pastels for my 7th graders.
After I introduce the pastels and give them a demonstration on how to use them, I set them loose. Each table receives an animal photo that all at that table will draw. I prop the photos up on a table easel so everyone at the table can see it. They really enjoy the pop of color the pastels give them when used on black paper, so I pass out 12 x 18 black construction paper and they sketch in pencil first.
When they begin with the pastels,
I remind them to layer and blend colors, look for shadows and highlights and get in as many details and animal textures as they can. I remind them to use our "Color Rule:" Always use more than one color (whether its paint, crayon, colored pencil, etc.) in any one section. The blending/pushing of colors makes any artwork more interesting.
After the first drawing is finished, students switch animal photos and try another one. These are surprisingly short drawings and the kids enjoy them, which makes it a pleasant experience for all of us!