In our Level 2 Spring Unit, we are examining Albrecht Dürer’s a “A Young Hare.” (If you have the A Child’s Introduction to Art book, you can learn more about Dürer and this painting on pages 24 and 25.) Albrecht Dürer was one of the first fine artists to paint an animal on its own, and this painting received even more acclaim because it is so strikingly realistic. Even more amazingly, it was painted with watercolor, which can be very difficult to paint details with. Nevertheless, Albrecht Dürer was able to achieve a very detailed texture on his hare by using small brush strokes.
For this art activity, we will be examining the idea of texture in art through a simple rabbit drawing of our own. One of the best things about adding texture to a drawing or painting is that it is rarely “perfect,” so this can be a great project to help a child break free from perfectionist tendencies. Encourage them to play with the materials and see what different results they can create. The work is also very simple, so they can likely make a few different versions if they like, even using different colored paper or pastels to express their own creative visions. Let’s hop to it!
What you need:
- black construction paper
- white crayon
- oil pastels (white, pink, black, light green, and dark green)
What to do:
On your black construction paper, start by having your child draw the basic outline of the rabbit’s head, ear, eye, nose, body, and tail with the white crayon. (For younger children, you can also draw these outlines for them so they can just focus on adding the texture.) It does not need to be perfect because you will be coloring over it to add the fur.
Next, use the white pastel to add the rabbit’s fur. Instead of filling in the fur as one scribble the way your child may be inclined, so them how to draw the fur as separate short strokes. Encourage them to draw the strokes in different directions to see the results.
Once they have made their rabbit as furry as they would like, fill in the nose and center of the ear with pink pastel. Fill in the eye with black pastel.
Finally, add textured “grass” by drawing short strokes around the bottom of the rabbit with the two shades of green.
Next, talk about the drawing! Why do the short strokes appear to add texture to a two-dimensional drawing? Do they like this kind of drawing? Why or why not?
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