For several weeks, the 4th graders in Mrs. McAslan’s art classes have been busy perfecting works of art that will help homeless pets in the community. Back in December, every student selected a digital photo of a dog or cat adopted from the Maryland SPCA to reproduce into an original drawing or painting for the adoption center’s 6th annual Kindness for Paws show. Their artwork, along with those from other participating schools, will be displayed in the White Marsh Mall from February 9 to 17 and on the last day, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., a “Name Your Donation” fundraiser will be held to sell the art. All proceeds will go to the MD SPCA to help animals who have not yet been adopted.
Mrs. McAslan’s students first sketched some furry friends last November when they visited the adoption shelter to learn more about the organization and draw several of the animals who were up for adoption at the time. “The SPCA does so many wonderful things to help homeless dogs and cats and I am excited we can contribute to their efforts. It’s a perfect way to make a difference in the community through our visual arts curriculum.”
After the students selected their photos and made rough sketches in pencil, they chose from watercolors, colored pencils, chalk pastels or oil pastels to create their pieces. Mrs. McAslan and the girls talked about the differences in drawing animals compared to drawing people. For example, the whites of a dog’s eyes are much less prominent than they are on a person. The students had so much fun creating whiskers, fur, wrinkles and getting the expressions of the cats and dogs just right for their pictures. Mrs. McAslan encouraged the students to take creative liberties in varying their backgrounds and the sizes of the animals in their artwork.
“This dog looks like he needed a good home,” said one student after selecting a photo of a wiry, white terrier. As the girls transformed their ideas into works of arts throughout this unit, they also had a dog gone good time learning how they can purposefully impact the world.