Schooling Magazine

Pastel Cactus Drawing

By Kathybarbro @KathyBarbro
Pastel Cactus DrawingOne of my favorite combos is blending chalk pastels over dried glue. I’m always on the lookout for new subject matter, so when I saw this cactus illustration, I knew it would make a great image, and allow for some simple shading practice.
1. I used 9" x 12" black paper, but recommend something larger for 1st or 2nd grade students. I had to really be careful to keep my glue lines from touching each other, so a larger format would make it a lot easier.
2. My diagram shows the steps I took to make my drawing. When complete, I traced all the lines with white glue. It seems that the Rite Aid White glue dries clearer than others, which I prefer.
3. When the glue was dry, I used chalk pastel pencils to fill in the cactus. I decided that the light source was from the left, so I used a light green on all three left sides of the cactus, and a dark green on the right. I also had a medium green to fill in the middle, but you could just used two colors that meet in the middle.
4. After the cactus was colored, I filled in the sky, ground and rocks with single shades. To finish, a little white pencil made highlights on the cactus, and a little black made a ground shadow for it and some rocks. Spray with a sealer or hairspray when complete.
CA Visual Arts Standard: Grade Four
2.1 Use shading (value) to transform a two-dimensional shape into what appears to be a three-dimensional form (e.g., circle to sphere).

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