Friday, October 30, 2015

Tempera and Chalk Sugar Skulls

This art lesson works well for grades 6 or 7.  It is good to start with a study of the traditional Day of the Dead customs from central and southern Mexico and learn the basics of Zentangle design (see my previous post).  This follow up lesson uses patterning and bold colors in tempera and chalk to create a brightly colored sugar skull painting on watercolor paper. 

Our mixed media sugar skulls radiate strong personalities and bold colors.

The lesson starts with a blank skull shape pre-printed on watercolor paper.  Details are added in pencil, then outlined with black marker.

Jillian draws face details in pencil.
 Trace over the pencil with a bold, black marker.
Paint in areas using tempera paints.
Jillian paints a yellow red design over the yellow background.

Using thickened tempera paints to keep the colors bold and bright, start painting the lightest colors first, then add the darker colors.  

Melody's skull has a cowboy theme.
Gretchen adds octopus tentacles to her skull.

After the paint dries, cut the skull out.

Next, mount the skull on mat board backing with glue, and use chalk pastels to add more details and a border around the painted skull.

The proud artists show their beautifully decorated sugar skulls:




We are looking forward to creating more exciting art together very soon, and hope you will visit us again in the studio.


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