Hybrid Animal Scientific Illustrations * Graphite * 9th-12th grade

9-12HybridAssignmentKangarooZebraWallenbergHSDaisyColchie

In the art class I am teaching at a local public high school, my students are looking at the intersection of science and art. They had to invent an animal hybrid and then label it as if it were a scientific illustration.

9-12HybridAssignmentCatLizardWallenbergHSDaisyColchie

Students looked at scientific illustrations by artists and scientists – both contemporary and dating back to the 1500s. We learned about what aspects of animals are usually described and conceptually imitated the labeling system used in illustrations.

9-12HybridAssignmentDeerBatWallenbergHSDaisyColchie

In the process, students learned about science and art but they also learned about symbols.

9-12HybridAssignmentFlyingHorseFoxWallenbergHSDaisyColchie

We looked at mythological animals from Egyptian and Greek Mythology as well as Chinese and Japanese folklore.

9-12HybridAssignmentCatLizardtWallenbergHSDaisyColchie

We also looked at concept art monsters and characters used for film and gaming.

9-12HybridAssignmentPharoahLionWallenbergHSDaisyColchie

 

The resulting animal drawings were hybrids not only of animals, but of contexts.

9-12HybridAssignmentTigerRabbitWallenbergHSDaisyColchie

Some hybrids got to be a little disturbing in a powerful and interesting way.

9-12HybridAssignmentGiraffeEagleWallenbergHSDaisyColchie

Students tried some very unexpected combinations.

9-12HybridAssignmentFlyingPandaWallenbergHSDaisyColchie

For all of the drawings, students looked very closely at a variety of reference material and learned about using shape, contour, texture, value and pattern to draw from observation.

9-12HybridsElephantRamWallenbergHSDaisyColchie

The students all had workbooks that they sketched the animals in before creating their finals. Some who struggled a great deal with drawing from observation clearly made a lot of progress and were really happy with their final drawings.

 

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