Friday, December 6, 2013

Everyone loves Pete the Cat!

Pete is a cool cat! When his white shoes change from red to blue to brown, and back to white again, he stays calm and rocks on. Pete the Cat: I love My White Shoes is a fun children's book that I used to teach a drawing lesson on perspective. While I read the book to my elementary age students they couldn't help but chime in during reoccuring text, and sing Pete's song about his shoes. The book really engaged the children, and it was great that they participated in the read aloud. After we finished the book I asked the students if they knew what perspective meant. Two students explained to the group what it meant - when an object appears solid (with sides and a top) and lifelike on the paper. I think the best way to teach art is by doing. Each child got a piece of paper and a pencil. Step-by-step I drew Pete the cat for the children, and had them follow along. Pete's face and body were closest to the viewer (foreground) so they appear larger. Pete's back legs and tail were further away (background) so they appear smaller. An angled sidewalk that is wider in the foreground and narrower in the background also gives the illusion that Pete is coming toward the viewer. After the drawing was complete the children used either marker, or watercolor to bring Pete to life. Outlining Pete in black marker was the final touch that really helps make him pop off the page!