Looking at a picture of a peaceful, elegant swan puts me in a pensive mood. I’ve made a PowerPoint of works by an artist called Stuchie. He is a minister who says art is artistic therapy for him. I want to do this project with the 3rd grade, but the classroom doesn’t have the equipment to show the PowerPoint, so I picked out one picture to make an example and will have the kids make a swan picture. We’re using oil pastels on black paper for this project. Draw the swan on the black paper with white oil pastel or chalk. Or,— I have included a rough sketch of a swan for anyone who wants a bit of help making a sample. I colored the back of the sketch with white crayon and used a stylus (old ball point pen) to trace the swan on my black paper. The PowerPoint takes about a minute to load.
- Stuchie Art (PowerPoint)
- Black construction paper
- Oil pastels
- White chalk
- Swan sketch (Pattern)
- Typing paper for sketch copy
- Stylus or old ball point pen
- Use the Stuchie swan picture as a guide. I found that it works well to start the swan by having the students draw a large number “2″ on their paper. You can see it exagerated in a few of the pictures below, but that seemed to make it easiest for them to get started.
- With white chalk, make a horizontal line across the paper at about half way up the paper (waterline). Leave a space above the mark and draw a line for the reeds area. Above that, draw a line for the back horizon line between the mountain and the sky.
- Draw a large swan so the bottom is about an inch from the bottom of the paper.
- Fill in the swan, except the beak and eye, with white oil pastel.
- Color in the lake with white oil paste, and then with blue pastel, staying slightly away from the outline of the swan.
- With purple oil pastel, color in the mountain and then with the edge of the green pastel, draw reeds between the water and the mountain. Leave a small space between the water edge and the bottom of the reeds, so you can make reflection lines below the reeds. Slightly blend the reflection lines.
- Color the sky blue and add white over the blue.
- With orange and red, color in the swan beak. With black color in the eye.
- With the Stuchie swan picture as a guide, make extra, thin black lines to show feathers on the swan. Also, you can carefully outline the swan with the edge of the black oil pastel.