"John James Audubon (1785–1851) was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, hunter and painter whose name is synonymous with the study and preservation of American wildlife. His masterpiece, folio, and his lifetime of written journals stand as an unsurpassed contribution to the world of fine art, natural science and American history and literature."
As a follow-up to the Mobile Museum of Art field trip our future elementary teachers took, they each produced a bird of their choice using only white drawing paper and traditional crayons. We wanted to create vibrant images for a display with impact using materials all elementary teachers could realistically possess, even under budget cuts and lack of support for the arts. We also wanted to connect with the natural sciences as a springboard for ornithology.
Students were given the following directions for the crayon bird drawing activity:
- Study Audubon's work and other images of birds.
- Choose a bird and environment you wish to create.
- Complete the Bird Nature Study Observation Worksheet.
- Sketch the bird on 9 X 12 white drawing paper.
- Use only crayons to create your art.
- Emphasize the main subject through SIZE, PLACEMENT, and CONTRAST.
- Overlap to show FOREGROUND, MIDDLEGROUND, and BACKGROUND.
- With a light color crayon or pencil, sketch lightly to block-in your composition.
- Do not draw details until you begin using actual colors.
- All colors must be SATURATED - bear down hard on the crayon so that all the drawing surface is covered with color that stands out.
- Leave no lightly colored areas. Leave no white spots.
- Blend colors, tints, shades.
- You may use a paper clip or other tool to scratch through colors to make lines, textures, patterns.
Internet Resources: John James Audubon's Birds
"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children." ~John James Audubon
Birds of America - Check out the list of State Birds with images of Audubon's art! http://web4.audubon.org/bird/boa/boa_index.html
National Audubon Society http://web4.audubon.org/john-james-audubon/