Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Silhouette Art

Inspired by the artwork of Kara Walker, my 3rd grade students created silhouette compositions with black sharpie markers.  The theme each student focused on was portraying peace.  Before beginning their artwork, students practiced sketching portrait and full body silhouettes, along with cutting silhouettes from black construction paper, learning the traditional method of creating silhouette portraits themselves.

Photograph of  Kara Walker and her artwork.
Kara Walker is best known for her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes that examine the underbelly of America's racial and gender tensions. 

Her works often address such highly charged themes as power, repression, history, and race.  More information about Walker and her beautiful silhouette art can be found at Kara Walker.  

My students were surprised how difficult creating an accurate silhouette of a person was.  They never thought it would be a challenge to make "an all black drawing without any details".  As they worked they realized to create a silhouette composition that had an unified balance of negative and positive space it does take patience and practice.  They now truly appreciate the art of creating silhouettes.


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