Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Create Your Own Lois Ehlert Bird

Yesterday you read about some of Lois Ehlert’s picture books. Today, make your own illustration in the style of Lois Ehlert. This project came out so well that I couldn’t wait until Friday to share it with you. So this will be a full week all about illustrators!
Supplies Needed:

Construction Paper/ Textured Paper
White Glue
Glue Stick
Hole Punch (optional)
I’m going to walk you through the steps to create this bird, but keep in mind that you can make any animal like this. If you have been studying butterflies for example, you might want to make a butterfly.

Cover your workspace and gather your supplies.

Begin by cutting out the shapes for your bird. Look at the shapes shown below and try and draw, then cut out, similar shapes. I cut little triangles out of the tops of the wings to show the separate feathers. Lois Ehlert folds her wings like accordions instead. You choose which you’d rather. Don’t forget to make the eyes. I used a hole punch to create the black part of the eye but you can use scissors to make the eye if you want.
Next, prepare the cardboard. This will become your tree. Peel the back off of the cardboard so you’re left will ridges. Squeeze some brown paint onto a palette or plastic lid. Cut another small strip of cardboard and dip the edge in the paint. Dab off some of the paint and then stamp the edge onto the large piece of cardboard several times. You’re just trying to make the cardboard look more like a tree. Work until you’re happy with the look of your tree, then set it aside to dry. It will dry quickly.

If you chose to show the separate feathers with cuts instead of folds, you’ll want to add some paint to your wings and tail, too. Squeeze some black paint onto your palette. Cut a new strip of cardboard, dip it into the black paint, and pull it across the wing. You’ll want lines that begin at the bottom of each triangle you cut. Then fill in the rest until you are pleased with the look. Do the same to the tail. Let everything dry.

Now, cut some simple leaves from green construction paper. You will need about ten leaves. Cut a third strip of cardboard and use it to paint green lines on your leaves.

Tear some short green strips for grass.

Your bird should be pretty much dry by now. Use your glue stick to glue it together.
Finally, cut off a strip of your painted cardboard to use as branches.

You have now prepared everything you need to make your illustration. Begin arranging your pieces on a sheet of colored paper. I chose to use blue for the sky.

Glue down your tree first. Use white glue anytime you work with cardboard. It needs a stronger hold than a glue stick gives. Cut off any cardboard that hangs over the edges of the paper.
Next, glue down the leaves and grass. Use white glue when gluing to cardboard (because of the ridges) and a glue stick when gluing to the background page.

Finally, glue your bird to the tree.
Remember to sign your name somewhere on your masterpiece!

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Ms. Julie's Place said...

I love the idea of using the layers of cardboard to make textures for the tree. Great project!

Jessica said...

Thanks! I didn't think of using cardboard, though. It's all in Ehlert's books!

sara's art house said...

LOVE the bird! We are going to try this!

Pam said...

Thanks for the idea - shared in the Teaching Readers to Think post. Check it out.

Miss said...

This is a fantastic collage project! Adding it to my Pinterest board!