# COSTUME DESIGN – Proportion, Colour, Detail

Students design a costume for an imaginary performer in Cirque de Soleil and use watercolour pencils to create their illustration.

180 Minutes

Mathematics
Social Studies
Visual Arts

#### Vocabulary

colour costume proportion

#### Materials

Crayola Marker and Watercolour Paper – 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm cm (9” X 12”) Crayola Paintbrushes Water Containers Paper Towels Erasers Scissors Hole Punch Pipe Cleaners Watercolour Pencils Erasable Coloured Pencils

## Steps

### Step One

Cut out all the pieces of the mannequin. Punch holes where the joints should be. Cut small pieces of pipe cleaner to use for fasteners. Place one piece of the mannequin on top of the other where it will be joined. Line up the holes and push the pipe cleaner through.

### Step Two

Lay the mannequin flat on the table so the edges of the two pieces almost touch each other.

### Step Three

Bend the ends of the pipe cleaner into the middle and flatten them so they close like a staple.

### Step Four

Place the mannequin on your table and experiment with poses. All the parts should bend easily at the joints.

### Step Five

Place your mannequin on the drawing paper in the pose you like. Trace around it with erasable coloured pencil.

### Step Six

Use watercolour pencils to colour the design. Paint over the pencil with water to get watercolour effects.

### Step Seven

Fill in the background by using a wet paintbrush to pick up colour from the tip of the watercolour pencil and then painting with it.

### Step Eight

Paint shadows along the outer edges of the figure to make it seem more 3-dimensional. If you made a mask as part of this project place it with the costume to see how the whole costume will look.

## Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

1. Create an illustration using watercolour pencils;
2. Design a costume to suit its purpose;
3. Draw a human figure with correct body proportions;
4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; and
5. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

## Extensions

1. Research the role of costume designers and then create a mask to be used with the costume.
2. Collect and display pictures of costumes used in contemporary society, e.g., theatre productions, Hallowe'en, action figures. Ask students to add comments about how and why the costumes are used. Compare the costumes and how they relate to their purposes. How are they similar? How are they different?

## Prepare

1. Prior to this lesson you may want to have students create masks using the lesson available on this website.
Kiss
Chinese
Sebastien
4. Gather books and pictures of costumes and other materials that support the focus for your lesson, e.g., ceremonies of ancient civilizations, Cirque de Soleil
5. Create a sample mannequin.

## Introduction

1. Have students look at a variety of costume designs and how they are illustrated to find some common characteristics.
2. Make a list of notable characteristics of the costumes, e.g., deliberate use of colour for specific effect, use of pattern and detail
3. Discuss how costumes are meant to 'transform' the wearer - when a person puts on the costume he/she changes.
4. Focus on costumes that support your topic. Discuss use of materials, decoration, embellishment and possible purpose.
5. Explain that they are going to design a costume using watercolour pencils. Briefly describe the technique.
6. Explain that they are going to be focusing on correct body proportions in their illustration. Show the mannekin.
7. Introduce the challenge.

## Activities

### The Challenge

1. Create an illustration using watercolour pencils.
2. Design a costume to suit its purpose.
3. Draw a human figure with correct body proportions.
4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
5. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

### The Process

1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
2. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
3. Observe students as they work.
4. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

## Sharing

1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.