Monday, April 7, 2014

Understanding Armatures

So this is a really fun project that I did with my 8th grade students just this last quarter. I had never done this project before but I got inspired when I came across this image whilst perusing Pinterest.

I thought, "what a fun way to emphasize armature and contour". The only to start. I brainstormed for a LONG time about how to make a project inspired by this image and I came up with two ways this idea could come to life. So what did I do? I ASKED THE STUDENTS. I literally taught this project TWO different ways, with the same concepts in mind. After that...the students decided which made more sense for them. 

We've all heard that students learn in different ways and we spend hours figuring out how to serve each student the best. Why not let them tell you? It was such an interesting experience hearing my students talk about the different possibilities of achieving the project. It was such a true display of the creative process. Perhaps one of the only things better than watching my students basically write my lesson plan for me, was the outcome. Check it out!

So you're amazed :) and want to give it a try in your classroom? Here's what I feel you need to know and if you have questions after please let me know! If you're truly daring LET THE STUDENT DECIDE! 

-Vocab that pertains to this project

  • Armature
  • Contour
  • In the Round
  • Balance
  • Cardboard
  • Hot Glue
  • Xacto blades
  • Paint (we used acrylic)
  • Some students used odds and ends for finishing materials
-Procedures the STUDENTS CHOSE!
  • Make the general profile of the chosen animal/portrait (No legs, no features)
  • Start making the contours by finding the widest area of the animal's head/body
    • Contours are made by drawing circles, rounded rectangles or any other defining shape on cardboard. Then using a ruler and Xacto blade to cut the contour shape in half
  • Make one contour at a time stopping to re-check how the contours relate to one another
  • Hot glue each half of the createD contours on either side of the profile made in "step one". 
  • Add defining features like ears and nose after ALL the contours have been secures (I pushed student to add layers and contours here as well)
  • Double check the balance. Some students challenged themselves with a full bodied animal, but most went the "hunting" plaque route.
  • PAINT!

Hope you enjoyed the post! Please let me know!


  1. Love, Love, Love these... I'll be pinning this and adding you to my blog roll... keep blogging!

    Nic Hahn,

  2. Thanks Nic! You honestly don't know how much that means to a new blogger like me :)

  3. Really special, thanks for all the information.