As soon as I saw a pic of Cathey Love’s gorgeous Dragon Eye project on Facebook, I was intrigued. When I heard that this project was so exciting that even rowdy 5th graders loved it, I knew I had to try it.
She started her project with some eye shapes that she included in her post, so we started with her eye shapes. If my students wanted to come up with their own eye shapes, they could do that too.
Then they created some type of smaller triple border around their eye shape, and later filled their border in with glitter crayons.
After that, the students made their own reptilian texture from their eye border to the outer edges of their 12″ x 18″ paper. They really got to shine creatively on this part!
Then they created some type of pupil. We compared and contrasted several real reptile pupils on the SmartBoard, and they could either draw a lizard, snake, or alligator pupil or create their own pupil for their dragon eye.
After all this drawing, what’s more fun than re-drawing your all your pencil lines with a Sharpie?? Ha. This is about the only tedious part of the project. Lots of encouraging and praise while they worked on this step (and all of it, really) and listened to music.
I demonstrated how to shade with a colored pencil, and early finishers added gorgeous gradations of color scattered throughout their drawings while the rest of the class caught up. This was a bonus step that created depth.
Everyone loves using a new medium in art class, but it’s a rare treat to introduce the 5th graders to an art medium they haven’t used before. Even I hadn’t used bleeding tissues before, but I’m hooked and so are they. I demo’ed how to apply the bleeding tissue squares I cut out ahead of time (dip it in your water bowl, use both hands, overlap the tissues until all is covered.)
I used a science tie-in with why we colored our triple eye borders with crayons (wax resists liquid.) Then we applied all of our bleeding tissue squares and squealed with excitement after the big reveal the next week.
Our last step was blending chalk pastel on the edges of their pupil. This looks great and ties it all together, and had a huge surprise benefit of covering any errant bleeding tissue drips in the eye.
Have fun making your dragon eyes! Tweet me or tag me with what you and your classes create – @wowartproject on Twitter and @juliaforsythart on Instagram.
Here are Cathey Love’s dragon eye shapes she generously shared:
My 5th graders’ dragon eyes after drawing the eyes, pupils, and shading with colored pencils:
The finished products after the bleeding tissues and shaded chalk pastel! Love these and how each student’s personality was shining through!!