Taos Pueblo, New Mexico is known for its Adobe houses–houses that are made from earth, clay, grass and other organic materials. This style of house was originated by the indigenous Pueblo. Adobe houses were created to make the most of the hot, dry climate found in the American southwest. They include features such as roof extensions meant to catch rainwater, which can be so scarce. The walls also do a good job at regulating the temperature in a climate that has very hot sunny days and cool nights.
This interesting style of architecture, combined with the scenic mountains of Taos Pueblo, makes for an excellent choice of a landscape drawing for beginners. Students can learn about drawing a foreground, middle-ground, and background, as well as the other elements that go into creating a landscape. This project also serves as a great piece of chalk pastel art for beginners that will allow many students to explore a new medium.
I can make an Adobe house landscape that shows a foreground, middle ground, and background. I can learn to use chalk pastels and oil pastels and see how they can really pop against a dark background. I can also learn more about Taos Pueblo Adobe houses and their rich history.
NATIONAL CORE ART STANDARDS:
Anchor Standard #1
-Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Anchor Standard #5
-Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for
Anchor Standard #11
-Relate artistic ideas and work with societal, cultural
and historical context to deepen understanding.
Present a PowerPoint about Adobe House Architecture from New Mexico’s well known destination, Taos Pueblo. Introduce the definition of Architecture, and show a video that elaborates on the site’s significance. Connecting this to American artist Georgia O’Keeffe would also be acceptable since New Mexico’s surroundings inspired her. Students will share facts that they remember from the Powerpoint presentation, and describe the aesthetic of Adobe homes. Explain what elements are needed in a landscape. Demonstrate project expectations before students work independently at their tables with a supportive reference document.
Using your pencil, draw 2 or 3 Adobe homes in the foreground, mountains across the middle-ground, and a sun in the background. Add details from Taos Pueblo’s historical site such as ladders and plants.
Trace your pencil lines with black oil pastel.
Fill in your design with chalk pastels by first laying down a color of your choice. Then, use two fingers to smooth, mix, and spread your color throughout your landscape. This will allow you to blend the chalk pastels well and really get their full effect. Remember to wipe your fingers on a tissue before switching to a different color.
Trace your ENTIRE drawing one more time with black oil pastel in order for your design to stand out successfully!
While your students are working on their pieces, teach them these fun facts about Adobe houses!