Thank you to Mrs. Susa from Lake Elementary who shared this out of this world fifth grade lesson with me a few years ago! To start, we looked at some of the super-realistic paintings of astronaut-turned-artist Alan Bean. We also talked about the concept of foreshortening (extreme perspective where objects on a 2-dimensional surface seem to reach out to you). The students then traced their hands and feet and an upside-down water bucket for a helmet. I challenged the kids to draw themselves as astronauts, but it was up to them to decide to make a realistic outer-space artwork or a more imaginative one. The artists also worked really hard to draw believable faces with correct proportioning.
We blended crayons and/or colored pencils for the drawn objects and painted various mixes of shaded glittery paints for the outer-space backgrounds. Some students also painted over their dry media with watercolors to create richer colors.