Fantastic Faux Fossils – Lesson Plan

Fantastic Faux Fossils – Lesson Plan

Fossils are the preserved
remains or traces of animals, plants
and other organisms from the remote past,
usually from more than 10,000 years ago. This is a perfect project to
tie into science or history if you’re looking for a cross-disciplinary
art lesson. Hello, I’m Mary Skydema
for Blick Art Materials. In this project students
will create three dimensional fossils of animals,
plants or insects. Using just armature wire,
a canvas panel, tissue papers,
glue and pastels, students can create
a fantastic faux fossil. We’re going to start with
a piece of paper the size of the canvas panel we’ll use for
our project. Make a simple drawing with
pencil to fit within the panel, and trace over it
with a black marker. Next, we’ll cut a piece
of armature wire. This is a very soft,
pliable wire that bends easily. However, for your
youngest students, chenille stems can
work as a substitute. All we’re going to do
is lay the wire on top of our drawing, and bend it to
follow the contours. Flatten the wire
as much as possible. Keep it flat
onto the paper. Once the wire
contour is finished, we’re going to glue it
to the canvas panel, and details can be added
with smaller pieces, shorter pieces of wire. So we’re going to
glue this to the panel, and once it’s completely dry,
we’re going to brush slightly diluted glue
over the entire panel. I’m going to
get in between the wires, and the entire surface
of the panel. The glue is diluted
just enough to just make it easy to spread. Onto this, I’m going to place
a whole piece of tissue paper over the whole panel. If you’re using
a larger panel, you can do this in sections,
tear it into pieces. So I’m going to push it
down with my fingers, and just take more glue, and really push
the tissue down onto the top of the wire, and over
the whole canvas panel. We’re going to
let it wrinkle naturally, and like I said,
if you’re doing a larger panel, you can tear the tissue
into smaller pieces. Repeat this process at least
two more times with additional layers
of tissue and glue. The layers don’t
have to dry in between, it will all just
stick together. You could choose to use
a textured paper for your final layer,
to add even more interest. After the panel
has dried completely, you might want to trim any
tissue that overlaps the edges. Now we’re going to
make this look like an authentic fossil slab. Using pastels, we’re going to colour
the surface of the panel. So I’m just
going to rub this on. And then use a dry brush
to blend the colour. You see how that picks up
the wrinkling of the tissue and really accents
the fossils. If you want to use
darker colours to create shadows, that’s a great idea just to
kind of emphasize the lower areas. And just continue to blend
the layers with the dry brush. As a final step I like to
use a very dark colour, a dark grey, to just go over
the raised edges of the wire, and you can also
brush that in. Lastly you’re going to want to
apply a spray fixative to the fossil panel
to set the pastels. There are other options
for making fossils, such as using twigs,
leaves, shells, molding materials and clays. Make sure to check out
our lesson plan PDF and materials list on our
website for these details. Thank you for joining me
for Fantastic Faux Fossils. Captioned by GigEcast

8 thoughts on “Fantastic Faux Fossils – Lesson Plan

  1. this doesn't work with pipe cleaners. the tissue paper is way too delicate for fluffy pipe cleaners; it just ends up tearing the tissue paper when patting down with brush!

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