When my daughter, Lucy, was born we were given a sweet little board book by Woody Jackson about counting cows in the landscape. Woody Jackson is most known for his cows which are part of Ben and Jerry’s packaging, and he happens to be a distant cousin of mine. When we were given the book, it got stashed away in a basket with tons of other board books and didn’t see much action but one day I was clearing things out, came across it, and was instantly inspired to do a project based on the beautiful illustrations.
I love the way he divides the land into such beautiful shapes and his use of color so I structured our project around those two ideas, as well as an opportunity to learn about drawing cows. The kids began by creating horizontal bands across their red paper which they filled in using multiple colors of oil pastel mixed together. I love the idea of using a bright color paper so that when bits of it show through a drawing, there is a back lit quality. I encouraged them to use colors that aren’t always typical of the land so as to avoid the use of green and not much else.
We put the landscapes aside and worked on drawing cows. Students did two cows each on blue paper and then filled them in with black and white oil pastels. When the cows were colored and cut out they got pasted into the landscape. Many students haven’t completed theirs yet but here are two that did get finished. Beautiful!