Art Classes: Level V

Lesson V-10: The Castle Ceiling Head


This lesson is suitable for students in grades 7 through adult.

 
Lesson Description:

Wawel Castle, which is actually a large complex of buildings, stands near the center of Krakow, Poland, and it houses a wonderful collection of treasures: armor, tapestries, paintings and furniture. However, one of the most amazing parts of the castle is a large hall in the royal apartments, the Envoy Hall - sometimes called the Hall of the Deputies - and what makes it unique is its coffered ceiling.

Inside the frame of each coffer on the ceiling is a life-sized, sculpted head of a nobleman or noblewoman that stares down at all who enter the hall. It’s the only ceiling of its kind in the whole world. Why are the heads filling every frame of the ceiling, and who do these head represent? The lesson answers those questions before it proceeds with the art lesson.

In the art lesson, students will draw one of the heads on black paper and will “sculpt” it with a charcoal white pencil to make the drawing look three-dimensional. The process, therefore, starts with the shadows already in place, and invites us to add the highlights to the face.
 

This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson, plus 3 downloadable printouts: a warmup, a drawing of the head, and a picture of the head. 

 
List of Supplies for Each Student:

  • A warm-up exercise (included with the lesson)
  • A fine-tipped black magic marker
  • An 11” x 8.5” or larger sheet of black construction paper
  • A charcoal white pencil
  • A kneaded eraser

 
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:

History:

Folklore:

Literature:

Language

  • Listen to a Polish poem about a locomotive. How does it sound different from your language. Notice how the poet uses the language to sound like a steam locomotive. Read the poem in English.

Food: Learn to make pierogi, a popular Polish dish. 

 

Approximate Time to Complete the Art Class:

  • Introduction through guided drawing: 20 minutes
  • Finishing the drawing: 60 minutes
  • Total time: 80 minutes

 


Original head
Original head
Drawing the head
Drawing the head
A Finished Art Lesson
A Finished Art Lesson

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