Peter Thorpe Inspired Space Art Project

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Age 8+ | Year 4 - 5 | 2 Classes

The last real project of the year I did with my Year 5's was this mixed media space project inspired by Peter Thorpe.  We took a good look at his signature motifs and how well he combines colour and texture in his work. After we finished, I let the students critique each other with my art peer assessment sheet. It gives them a chance to walk around and take a good look at each others work.

We learned about shading with oil pastels and most importantly how to accurately depict the light source on your drawings. 

What you'll Need

What to do

Space Ship

On white card stock we drew rockets or spaceships in pencil and then outlined it in black sharpie. 

Colour + cut out the Space Ship

I instructed the students to get 3 colours of oil pastels. Arrange the pastels in order from lightest shade, middle, and darkest shade. I found this was the easiest way to demonstrate how to make something look 3 dimensional just by shading. They were to decided where the light source was coming from (left, right, top or bottom), then they used their lightest shade to colour a strip closest to the light source, followed that with the medium shade, and used the darkest shade on the parts that were furthest away from the light source. Blend the shades of oil pastel to create a lovely 3d looking rocket. Cut it out when its all coloured in. 

Paint The Background

Taking inspiration from the various techniques used by Peter Thorpe, they were to paint the background environment of their spaceship on black paper. The students got really creative with this, some were abstract and some were literal, they all looked cool in the end. 

Paste the Space Ship to the Background

Once the background is dry, stick the space ship on. You'll end up with a really cool galaxy themed project that incorporates, drawing, oil pastel, paint, and collage!

Have you tried this project? How did it turn out?

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