Cloud Cities




This project is such an incredible combination of both observation and imaginative drawing. We also combine materials, using semi ink and pencil. The kids learn how to begin with the big forms working on the whole drawing then moving on to adding the details that give the drawing a new layer of meaning.

Materials
Sumi ink
pencil
watercolor paper
cloud images
paint brush

Yes, that is it.

We start with cloud images to look at. We talk about shadows and where the sun is in the picture. We observe the light part of the clouds and the darker part of the clouds.



I give the students a diluted solution of the semi ink and a brush. Sumi ink is so dark that this dilution can be 1 part ink and 10 parts water, but please test it for yourself. You are looking for a light gray.
I ask them to paint at least 4 clouds on the page. They can be big ones or little ones or a combination of both. They can also add more if they want but at least 4 to make the city work.


When finished I give them a darker diluted solution of sumi ink, creating a dark grey. It's best if the lighter ink is still wet on the page, that way the two shades of ink will merge with each other.  I then invite them to really look at the clouds in the picture and to observe the dark areas of each cloud.
I pose questions like 'Where is the sun shining?" "Where is the cloud darker?"

We then let these dry before we start in with the pencil.


When discussing adding the cities to the clouds I ask some questions in order to spark conversation "How will people get from one cloud to the other?" or "what kinds of structures will people live in?" or " Where will people get their food?"


Conversation and drawing is such a wonderful combination. We learn so much about each student and they learn about each other. Each drawing is so unique depending on the kids interests.




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