The Laughing Zebra

Fun and easy Charles Demuth art project! I did this with a bunch of different ages and they all turned out great.

I’ve been buried in art classes and prep work and haven’t had time to sit and blog a lesson lately. This is one I did two weeks ago at one of the schools I work at. I have been captivated by this print by Charles Demuth for a long time, because I love the use of numbers and text in art. There are many lessons you could do based on this print — I came up with this one because I had just finished another project using black paper and cool colors and it turned out great (It was a portrait of Medusa). So, I thought why not the number 5? 

I did this project with grades K-5. For the Kindergartners I drew the number 5 on the poster board before class using the white pencil. The kids used a plastic cup to trace on 5 circles anywhere they wanted, and a ruler to draw 5 lines. For the older kids I let them do their own number 5.  Prior to the start of class I had mixed up some blues and greens with white (to make them more opaque and bright on the black background). The kids used these colors to fill in all the spaces they had made on their posters, being careful not to put the same color next to itself. This was not as easy as it sounds. They were challenged as they got farther along in their painting. For the Kindergartners I used some black paint to outline to re-discover their shapes and their number 5.

For the older kids we outlined with black chalk pastels and then went over it with a finger to smudge and add some shading in certain areas.

Please refer people back to this site if you use this lesson! 🙂

Supplies:

1/2 black 22in x 28in black posterboard

Ruler

White colored pencil

Acrylic paint in cool colors, plus white

Cup (to trace for the circle shape)

Brushes

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