This week we learned how to draw spheres using shadowing techniques.
My daughters and I did the drawing project Spheres in Space from Art Projects for Kids, a great source for artsy rather than craftsy projects. The kids and I started with black cardstock and a lot of colored pencils. We used objects from the kitchen to draw circles in different colors, including a roll of tape, a lid and a stencil. We drew some of the circles only partly on the page. We colored in the circles with colored pencils in the color of the outer circle.
The focus of the project is to shade the circles so that they look like spheres. We each picked the location of an imaginary sun to light our planets. This is how we knew which side should be "bright" and which side of each sphere should be "dark." We placed a ruler from the sun to the planet we were working on, so that we knew where the center of the bright side should be. This helped the kids also see why the other side of the planet would be dark, as it was facing away from the sun.
We sketched a white arc on the sunny side of each planet, directly on top of the original color. We added a black arc on the dark side of each planet in the same way. The kids used a large circle from their page as the sun. Next time we will try it with the recommended pastels so that we can better blend the whites and blacks into the other colors. The kids also drew little asteroids or stars in tiny circles around their artwork without shading.
We loved this project! It motivated us to do more sketching on black paper with colored pencils.