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Friday, April 2, 2010

Children's Drawings, Come to Life

"What would a child's drawing look like if it were painted realistically?" That's the question artist David Devries asked himself, which in turned spawned The Monster Engine, equal parts book, exhibition, and Internet sensation.

In David's own words:
It began at the Jersey Shore in 1998, where my niece Jessica often filled my sketchbook with doodles. While I stared at them, I wondered if color, texture and shading could be applied for a 3D effect. As a painter, I made cartoons look three dimensional every day for the likes of Marvel and DC comics, so why couldn’t I apply those same techniques to a kid’s drawing? That was it... no research, no years of toil, just the curiosity of seeing Jessica’s drawings come to life.
As you can see, the effect is pretty cool!

So what's in this for teachers? I can imagine a similar activity as a neat cross-grades project, with a kindergartener drawing the original image, a fourth or fifth grader writer an accompanying story (perhaps as the kindergartener dictates it), and a high schooler creating the finished image.

For inspiration, check out David Devries' site, where he discusses the project, shows off more examples of his work, and offers a number of school presentation options. You can also get your hands on David's recently published The Monster Engine Book. That book, plus the video below, can serve as great models for getting your own project underway.

Thanks to Picture Books Anonymous for bringing this site to my attention!


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