Kapaa Middle School Art students recently finished a two-part project featuring skeleton drawings that were cut out and mounted on a watercolor background. As an introduction, we studied the Hispanic holiday of Los Dias De Los Muertos and looked at skeleton artwork by the famous Jose Guatelupe Posada.
Students began with a small printed image of a skeleton and instructions to not only draw the image, but to enlarge it by 4 times! This was accomplished by measuring a grid that enabled them to draw the complex figure in small sections while maintaining the correct proportions.
While the process of measuring, drawing, shading and cutting of the bones was painstaking and meticulous, the background allowed students to be more expressive and free-form. Students were introduced to 6 different watercolor painting techniques which they practiced in their sketchbooks. The only requirement for the final background was to incorporate all 6 techniques.
“An artist will sooner and with more certainty, establish the character of skeletons, than the most learned anatomist, whose eye has not been accustomed to seize on every peculiarity.”
– Rembrandt Peale (American Artist & Naturalist)