Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Snowmen at Night Chalk Pastel Drawings

After learning about using value to show a three-dimensional form in their personal object still life drawings, 5th grade artists applied the same concept using a different material. We read the story, Snowmen at Night, and looked closely at the illustrations to inspire our own sketches for what our snowmen (or snow people) could be doing. 
Some ideas we came up with included making snow angels, skiing, snowboarding, snowball fights, and playing pond hockey. In their sketch, students had to show some sort of action, and include a light source, whether it was the moon, a lamp, or a fire. 
Using their sketch to guide them, students then used chalk pastel to draw their own snowmen at night scene on larger colored paper. We discussed how to use other colors in combination with white to create a three-dimensional appearance to the snow. We noticed that the illustrations in the book included many colors in addition to white to represent snow. For the areas of shadow, we used different shades of blue, purple, black and gray. For the areas of highlight, we used yellows and oranges to show light hitting a surface. This all depended on the light source in each student's work, and which side of the snowman was closest to it. (Most) students enjoyed blending the soft pastel with their finger to blend colors together and fill in shapes. 
The following classes, we focused on adding details to the snowmen as well as the background. Students got creative with their details, adding faces, winter accessories likes hats and scarves, trees, and even snow animals. We talked about how to add the shading and highlight to those details, such as the carrot nose or a top hat. 
Students also considered different ways to approach the sky, whether it was adding snowflakes, stars, etc. Below are some examples of our snowmen at night drawings. Two students' drawings were featured on the December winter concert program and some of our other snowmen at night drawings are now on display in the glass case downstairs. Be sure to check them out!
Chris, 5th Grade (Twomey)
Grace, 5th Grade (Twomey)
Ani, 5th Grade (Psychoghios)
Armani, 5th Grade (Bellis)
Celia, 5th Grade (Bellis)
Dorothy, 5th Grade (Psychoghios)
Elena, 5th Grade (Bellis)
Halle, 5th Grade (Bellis)
Ilana, 5th Grade (Bellis)
John, 5th Grade (Bellis)
Lindsay, 5th Grade (Domermuth Fantasia)
Tiffany, 5th Grade (Domermuth Fantasia)
Anna L., 5th Grade (Psychoghios)
Cyrus, 5th Grade (Bellis)
Danny, 5th Grade (Bellis)
Tracy, 5th Grade (Twomey)


  1. Excellent work and beautiful! I love what you are doing in your classes!

  2. Thank you -- the students work hard and I think it shows! Thank you for taking the time to leave us feedback!