Superheros are all the rage right now, whether it’s Marvel movies, TV shows, Halloween costumes, they’re everywhere and I’m loving it! For my third graders I use superheros to teach the skill of drawing a proportionate human body. We talk about DaVinci’s theory of divine proportions and look at my wooden mannequins. I use the mannequins to help explain how we are going to break down the human body into simple shapes, making it much easier to draw and more realistic.
What you need:
Let’s get started!
We begin by brainstorming our dream superpowers. I explain how I would love the ability to fly which is why my example is me flying through the city. Then I begin my drawing lesson on the smart board.
We draw three lines floating on our paper of equal distance from each other: one for the top of the head, one for the bottom of the waist, one for the bottom of the feet. Leonardo DaVinci discovered that these are generally the same from one person to the next. Then we put dots in the middle of our sections: one for the middle of the chest, and one for where the knees should be. Using ovals and simple shapes I draw a person. I ask a my students to strike their best superhero pose and I chose one to come model for me.
I show how to modify our drawing draw a bent elbow or knee. I take questions and then tell my students to pair up. They must take turns posing in each others’ superhero pose. It is very sweet seeing how patient these kids are with each other and most take their modeling careers very seriously, standing as still as statues!
Once a few students have their basic mannequin-esque body drawn I show how to round out and connect body parts. We then erase the lines inside the body and add hair and super suits. I talk about coming up with a design and logo for their outfits, show how to draw hair and facial features, then we use skinny sharpies and colored pencils to color!
When it comes time for a background I give my students the option to draw whatever they like, although I do give a mini-lesson on one point perspective for those who want to draw a city-scape. Have fun!