Monday, October 13, 2014

Degas in Chalk Pastels

Edgar Degas was born on July 19, 1834, in Paris.   His full name at birth was Hilaire-Germain Edgar de Gas, but as you can see he shortened it up a bit over time.

Degas is one of Olivia’s favorite artists.  She shares his love for horses and ballet.    As we studied his work and techniques, I decided we’d work with chalk pastels, as it’s a very forgiving media and fun to work with.

I gave each girl a dark blue piece of textured cardstock, the box of chalks and set them to work.  In all transparency, my girls are not brilliant artists (although Olivia is very talented).   The ballerina was traced using one of the patterns found here.   The girls decided where to place their dancer and then traced the outline of the dancer with pencil, everything else is their own work. 

Lindsey chose to put her paper at an angle.  She used greys and whites to fill in the background, as if you are looking into the backstage/curtain area.   Then she added the stage lights as well.

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Olivia spent a great deal of time adding layers of colors and background to her artwork. I love the contrasting colors, and the spotlight on the ballerina.

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Once the student has finished their project.  Tap the edge of the paper lightly to jar loose any extra chalk.   Then spray a thing glaze of hair spray across the artwork.  This step keeps the chalks from smearing.


Edgar Degas; by Joanne Mattern
Edgar Degas – Paintings that Dance; by Kristin N. Cole
Degas and the Little Dancer; by Laurence Anholt
Marie in Fourth Position – The Story of Degas’ “The Little Dancer”; by Amy Littlesugar
Edgar Degas – Dance Like a Butterfly; by Prestel

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