Student Pastel Drawings of Dunes


Charlotte Bond, the art teacher drew the dunes in pastel chalk. Her drawing, designed to be a sample for student work illustrated various aspects of drawing composition.


1. The dunes are in front of the lake, which shows between them.
2. The trees are on the edge of the dunes
3. Grass on the dunes is larger near the front of the painting and smaller when placed more deeply into the painting.
4. The lake is darkest at the horizon, the sky is lightest at the horizon.
5. The dunes are shaded to show areas of direct sunlight and shadow.
6. The proportion of dune, sky, and water is consistent with the experience of standing in the dunes.

Charlotte showed the students her drawing and explained the compositional elements.


The students then made their own drawings.

(Photos by Charlotte Bond, Art Teacher)

A representative sampling of their work is reproduced below.


Although the shape and proportion of the dunes vary among these drawings, the horizon line, land to water relationship, tree configuration, shading and plant perspective reflect the elements in the drawing lesson.

The same drawing lesson was given students who had not visited the Indiana Dunes with the field trip. These students were only shown Charlotte's drawing and told the elements of composition. A representative sampling of their drawings is reproduced below.

In these drawings, the dunes are more massive and lie less gracefully on the horizon. The sense of the plants is less developed proportionally and the point of view is not as effectively placed within the landscape. One has the sense that having been in the dunes, walking on the trails, has given the students who attended the field trip a sense of context and landscape that the drawing and explanation alone did not provide.

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