This second grade art lesson included a far more time consuming art project than our previous lessons, so I did not start off with a storybook to introduce the art element of the day as in lessons past. With only 1/2 hour to teach, I just jumped right into it by showing them this drawing by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) called “The Hare”.
I asked the kids, “How do you think this bunny would feel if you touched it?” Of course they answered “soft” & “fluffy.” The real answer is that it would feel like paper because it’s a drawing, but the use of texture makes it LOOK like it would feel “soft” & “fluffy”. Texture often takes a lot of time and attention to detail. I asked them to imagine how long it must of taken for Durer to draw each of those pieces of hair on the rabbit or each panel of texture engraved into his famous rhinoceros wood block print.
Even though Durer created this print without ever having seen a rhinoceros, it is considered one of the most influential pieces of animal art of all time, inspiring rhino art for a few hundred years after it’s creation.
After our brief introduction to texture and Durer, each child received a circle cut from the bottom of a styofoam plate to create their own “print block” using Durer’s Rhino as inspiration. A dull pencil was used to “engrave” different “textures” into the plate. Then, parent helpers used brayers (stencil sponge roller) to roll on paint and the kids used their barrens (spoons) to transfer the print to their paper.
While waiting for their chance to print, the kids also got to create their own “Texture Turtle” using texture plates (which are so fun) and crayon rubbing. The kids were sad when it was time to give the texture plates back, but it gave us a chance to talk about looking for texture all around us– leaves, piece of cardboard, bubble wrap, sandpaper, etc.