Recently I did an art lesson with my art class based on the book, "Over and Under the Snow" by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal. The book takes readers on a trip through the woods in winter discovering the secret world of animals living under the snow.
I decided that collage would be a good medium of choice for this project. They were allowed to use a mix of construction papers and pieces from magazines. I instructed them to start from the top and work their way down, that way they could overlap their pieces without covering anything important. The goal was to have 3 layers including the background (sky), middle ground (landscape), and underground! I love the affect of the different white pieces from magazines that were used to create the snow. There is so much more shading and texture that comes from using magazine pieces compared to just using white paper.
I taught them how to draw a variety of animals that they could draw and put into their scenes. I showed them step by step how to draw an owl, squirrel, bear, mouse, and a fox. I love the variety of scenes that they came up with! As I thought about these underground winter habitats, I thought about how sometimes we are fooled by other surfaces we encounter. Just like these animals that are hidden from the naked eye, in the same way we are fooled by what we see on the surface of people in the world around us. Sometimes it takes getting to know people on a deeper level to find out what is really going on inside. I am guilty of making judgements of people based on my first impressions, but I want to work hard to always give people a chance to show who they really are.
I also have a friend a fellow artist here in Akron named Deborah Shapiro http://deborahshapiroart.com/ who creates works of art from torn pages of magazines. I shared this video of hers to my students to give them some inspiration for their collages...