Roosters are one of the most classic barnyard animals, though they are rarely considered a subject for art projects. The stately figure, varying textures and range of colours on a rooster make the bird a suitable inspiration for a variety of craft and art projects. Whether you are arranging craft time for preschool students or majoring in art history at your college, rooster art projects can be engaging and fun for artists of all ages and abilities.
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Introduce young children to basic art skills of colouring, cutting and gluing with kid-friendly rooster art projects. When children are still working on fine motor skills, tracing a rooster template and then cutting along the lines is a challenging but skill-building task. Instead of simple colouring activities, instruct children to use different media like finger paints, scrap fabrics or water colour paints to try to create the texture of a rooster's feathers. As students build their art skills, rooster puppets made from brown paper bags and craft feathers are a more advanced art project that can be incorporated into a story time puppet show for a barnyard themed book.
Because roosters are commonplace animals, it's easy to overlook the specific physical detailing that contributes to a rooster's texture, colour and shape. In a drawing class, instruct students to create a pencil or ink drawing of a rooster and a near identical drawing done in colour using pastels, coloured pencils or paint. Beginning with a black and white drawing encourages artists to focus on proportion and shape before incorporating colour and shading. Another challenge for intermediate art students interested in contemporary art and surrealism is to create a series of three to four themed roosters that all have the same basic rooster drawing but added detail to create distinct personalities. For example, the first rooster may be a rock star, while the second is a president and the third is a cowboy.
Galo de Barcelos Craft
In Portugal, the rooster is often used as a national symbol. Barcelos, Portugal, first choose the rooster as a symbol because of a legend that states a pilgrim was saved from a death sentence by a rooster who crowed three times as a witness to his innocence. The "galo de Barcelos," or rooster of Barcelos, features distinctive red, black and yellow markings and a dramatic red crown. Invite artists to create their own "galo de Barcelos" with modelling clay that can be painted and fired. The rooster of Barcelos is also a popular motif on fabric, so artists interested in cross-stitching, knitting or crocheting may also opt to create towels, blankets or quilts featuring the revered rooster.
The Polish art of paper cutting is called wycinanki, and the rooster is a recurring subject of traditional Polish paper art because the rooster is a popular character in Polish folklore and often symbolises vigilance. The traditional method of creating a Polish paper cutting involves folding a piece of paper in half and using scissors or a sharp blade to cut away pieces of paper until the remaining paper creates an image. The opened paper reveals a symmetrical, mirror image. Once students have created simple rooster cut-outs, challenge them to develop more complicated, intricate designs or to stack several layers of paper to create a more three-dimensional paper sculpture.
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- "Polish Folklore and Myth"; Joanne Asala; 2001
- "The Kids' Multicultural Art Book: Art & Craft Experiences From Around the World"; Alexandra Terzian; 1993