Star City art students revisit the Wild West


The Old West, often referred to as the Wild West, encompasses the period of American westward expansion after the Civil War, the rest of the 1800’s, and the early part of the 20th century. During this time thousands of pioneers pushed their way west in search of land, better lives, gold and silver, and sometimes to escape the law.

Star City High School art students recently drew inspiration from those thrilling days of yesteryear by creating charcoal drawings inspired by the Wild West.

Students in Roger Darren High’s art I classes at Star City High School created drawings of images from the Old West using charcoal pencils as part of a cross curricular drawing lesson involving art and history.

Charcoal drawing was used for preliminary drawings during the early years of human history. Due to disadvantages of the charcoal blowing or dusting off and being very messy — the base charcoal drawing was then painted over or was drawn over by another media.

However, no artistic media has lasted as long as charcoal has over the years, with charcoal cave drawings by prehistoric man still seen today. The dramatic, rich markings left by charcoal appear in the earliest primitive cave painting of early humans and are believed to have been drawn with charcoal created from burnt sticks.

The lesson helped students to understand how to create artwork using reference photos, how to render a wide range of value using charcoal, and how to apply the elements of art in order to create artwork.

The charcoal drawings created by the students will be on exhibit in the hallway at Star City High School.