Foreign Language teacher, Mrs. Quigley and I had the great idea of combining Spanish class with my Anatomy and Figure class to explore the interesting connections with Mexico’s rich visual and cultural holiday, Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with skeletal proportions.
The unit started with Mrs. Quigley introducing the Day of the Dead and its vital importance to the Mexican culture. Students learned about proper attire, commemorative alters, and other ceremonial norms that are on display every year on October 31st, November 1st and 2nd to coincide with All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day
The remainder of the class was dedicated to learning about basic skeletal proportions with the anticipation of developing skeletal forms that aim to be proportionally accurate. This was a daunting task for many because of their lack of direct-observational drawing experience. However, once students got warmed up and were given helpful proportional tips such as the human skeleton is roughly 7.5 heads high and the width of our wingspans are at least as long as our height.
The following class was used to fully-detail and refine the skeletons. reference imagery of flowers, hats, musical instruments and face paintings were used to inspire students to give their skeletons an identity.