Drawing With Children-Les 5 Chalk Pastels

drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes talks about chalk pastels in chapter five. She suggests that you try these after conte crayons so here are my ideas for adapting this lesson for your nature journal.


The good news is that although these are just as messy as the conte crayons, your children will probably enjoy them more. They are colorful and you get lots of bright bold colors on your page. They are not as smooth on the page as an oil pastel but they give you more color than a watercolor pencil.
chalk pastels 1
We have always enjoyed the way you can overlap the colors and you can see them blend on your page but they will break if you apply too much pressure.

You will need good paper, a kneaded eraser, and a fixative in order to use these in your nature drawings. I am still not convinced I would use them directly into my nature journal or carry chalk pastels in my backpack but if you are around the house and can use them on separate sheets of paper and then insert them into your journal, they are a nice change from colored pencils.
chalk pastel leaf

You can see how the leaf looks great but there is a mess on the page and the pastels broke when I was using them. You can still use them even when they get quite small though so just be prepared that your nice new box of pastels will soon be broken and messy.

 

How about a couple of videos that I made to get some additional ideas?

Chalk Pastel Video #1

Chalk Pastel Video #2

pastels pencils
I also tried the Pastels Pencils (Conte brand) and they were a little easier to use than the crayon sticks. They still have the same texture so they were a little scratchy on the paper and still made a little mess. If I had to choose, I would use the pencils but not in my nature notebook. The pencils were much easier to control and you could sharpen them to a point to get a nice sharp line.

chalk pastels fixative

 

 

Here are the rest of the Lessons:

Lesson 1 – Getting Started

Lesson 2 – Drawing from Graphics

Lesson 3 – Still Life

Lesson 4 – Volume Drawing

Lesson 5 – Conte Crayons

Lesson 5 – Chalk Pastels

Lesson 5 – Drawing Pencils

Lesson 5 – Colored Pencils

Lesson 5 – Oil Pastels

Lesson 5 – Watercolors

Click to each lesson for adaptations, suggestions, and videos.

free-download-drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

You can download all the Drawing With Children – Nature Journal Style Lesson Plans here: Drawing with Children Lesson 1 – Getting Started.

 

Cover Grade 4

Please note that Drawing With Children is part of the Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 Curriculum. You can click over to read more about this art and music appreciation plan here:

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Explanation

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Sample

The plans in Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 relate the lessons to a study of great art and artists. Please see page 9 in the sample linked above to get an idea how I do this in the plans.

 

Supplies Needed for this Lesson

Please note these are Amazon affiliate links to products I own and recommend.

Drawing With Children: Les 5 Conte Crayons

drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

Drawing With Children Lesson 5 begins our exploration of a variety of art mediums.

See the rest of the lessons linked at the bottom of this post.

 

Now we are getting down to the real meat of this book. The basics have been covered and now we are given some instruction and direction on what to try after we have tired of markers.
conte crayons
The first medium mentioned is Conte Crayon.…this I admit is not my favorite way to draw. It is messy and I don’t have much control. I have done some work with the conte crayons and to me, they are as messy as charcoal. You smudge and smear and then when you are finished, the end product, even if you have used a fixative, needs to be stored carefully or they make a big mess. Now I know there must be artists that enjoy these crayons but I gave them a try and I have moved on.
kneaded eraser
If you use the kneaded eraser that they suggest, you will want to keep it for using exclusively with the conte crayons otherwise you will make a smudgy mess on your next pencil project…..yes, I am speaking from experience.

I would not use these crayons with little ones. They break easily and they will probably not like the results. I would save these for at least middle school age children, if not high school….or better yet, college. 🙂
cat gesture drawing
Gesture drawing of my cat done with conte crayon

I would not recommend conte crayons for your nature journal. About the only thing I like to use conte crayons or charcoal for is to make “gesture drawings“. Drawing with Children talks a little bit about gesture drawing on pages 180-181. Basically it means a quick kind of drawing that you look quickly back and forth between the model and your drawing.

drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

Here are the rest of the Lessons:

Lesson 1 – Getting Started

Lesson 2 – Drawing from Graphics

Lesson 3 – Still Life

Lesson 4 – Volume Drawing

Lesson 5 – Conte Crayons

Lesson 5 – Chalk Pastels

Lesson 5 – Drawing Pencils

Lesson 5 – Colored Pencils

Lesson 5 – Oil Pastels

Lesson 5 – Watercolors

Click to each lesson for adaptations, suggestions, and videos.

free-download-drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

You can download all the Drawing With Children – Nature Journal Style Lesson Plans here: Drawing with Children Lesson 1 – Getting Started.

 

Cover Grade 4

Please note that Drawing With Children is part of the Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 Curriculum. You can click over to read more about this art and music appreciation plan here:

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Explanation

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Sample

The plans in Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 relate the lessons to a study of great art and artists. Please see page 9 in the sample linked above to get an idea how I do this in the plans.

Supplies Needed the Lesson Above

Please note these are Amazon affiliate links to products I own and recommend.

Drawing With Children: Lesson 4 Sketching Outdoors

drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

Lesson 4 in the book Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes is all about volume.

At this point in the book, I must confess, that somewhere along this point I feel like you need to just stop and dwell on a few basic concepts. If you are working through this book with a bit younger student, they may not seem to be “getting” it. I have seen it happen with some children that get stuck at this point in the book. I can understand it because this is not easy unless you have the sort of brain that is more right-brained than left. It is hard to make the switch to seeing negative space, volume, and how to make things look real. I would say that most children until about the age of nine struggle with this chapter. Don’t be discouraged.

I missed the following quote in lesson four the first couple of times I read it. I think it is worth reading and remembering.

“Beginners often lack confidence when it comes to this technique, so don’t be surprised at a few groans and furrowed brows….Encourage a balance between relaxation and concentration with children, if they have difficulty. Some four to six year olds may not be quite ready…….There is no ‘right’ age to be ‘ready’, so there’s no hurry.” Pages 141, 142

Work slowly through this lesson. But do try to get through the Tiger Lily project before you take a break from this lesson. I know when we first did this lesson it took us three sessions to finish. Remember there is no hurry.

 

How to apply to your nature journal.
Page 150 has a subheading for outdoor drawing and using natural lighting. She suggests sitting in such a way that the sun is over the back of either one of your shoulders. This gives your subject consistent lighting. Practice sketching and drawing outside.

Page 158 Choosing Other Projects
Follow the suggestions to use photographs or paintings as inspiration. You can take your own photographs or those out of magazines and have your children work them into their nature journals. Find subjects to draw that you have seen in real life. Have your children adapt the photos to match those conditions they have experienced. Mona Brookes also suggest working with your own three-dimensional environment for endless drawing possibilities.

I love the quote on the sixth page of color images int he middle of the book with the title “Environments”.
“As students draw the creatures in our environment, they can also learn about the places they come from, draw maps and study geography, be involved in science lessons, and exposure to environmental awareness.”

Plant yourself in this chapter for as long as you need to feel comfortable before moving on to Lesson 5. Lesson 5 widens our choices of mediums: conte crayon, chalk pastels, drawing pencils, colored pencils, oil pastels, and watercolors. This is exciting and intimidating. I think I will take each new medium and give it a separate blog entry. Some of these materials are not my favorite but I will do my best to present the way to get started with them.

drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

Here are the rest of the Lessons:

Lesson 1 – Getting Started

Lesson 2 – Drawing from Graphics

Lesson 3 – Still Life

Lesson 4 – Volume Drawing

Lesson 5 – Conte Crayons

Lesson 5 – Chalk Pastels

Lesson 5 – Drawing Pencils

Lesson 5 – Colored Pencils

Lesson 5 – Oil Pastels

Lesson 5 – Watercolors

Click to each lesson for adaptations, suggestions, and videos.

free-download-drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

You can download all the Drawing With Children – Nature Journal Style Lesson Plans here: Drawing with Children Lesson 1 – Getting Started.

 

Cover Grade 4

Please note that Drawing With Children is part of the Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 Curriculum. You can click over to read more about this art and music appreciation plan here:

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Explanation

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Sample

The plans in Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 relate the lessons to a study of great art and artists. Please see page 9 in the sample linked above to get an idea how I do this in the plans.

 

Supplies Needed for This Lesson

Please note these are Amazon affiliate links to products I own and recommend.

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