Ganesha. Making Measurements For Life Drawings.

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Victoria, 4

It’s hard to be a God. Many people expect so much from him but, according to many legends, Gods already have very stressful lives. Take Ganesha, for example.


Ganesha is an Indian God, a son of Shiva and Parvati (also Gods). His mother, Parvati, made him out of clay  when his father, Shiva, went to do his business. The mother liked the sculpture so much that she gave it life and named it Ganesha. Then she decided to take a relaxing bath and asked her newborn son (who else, right?) to guard the door and under no circumstances let anyone in. Soon the father came back and wanted to say hello to his wife and suddenly saw a little boy blocking the door. Shiva immediately felt apprehensive and gravely ordered the boy to move aside. He was entirely unaware  that the boy was his new son and started bullying him shamelessly. Ganesha, being a good son to his mother, was relentless and did not allow his father to enter. Shiva was offended to the degree of taking his sword out and beheading the little boy… No words, right?

That is where Parvati appeared with a towel wrapped around her and started screaming “My boy! You killed our boy!!!” Shiva was shocked. “Oh, that was our son??!! I am so terribly sorry!… I did not mean to kill him…only, he was a such a hostile little bug”… “You’d better find the way to fix it!” screamed Parvati. “Sure!” said Shiva, feeling a little offended by the screaming wife, “How about I give you a nice ring?” “No!” cried Parvati. “I’ll clean the dishes from now on?” continued Shiva frustratingly. That all was not enough. Shiva made it clear that unless the little boy was fixed permanently, she would give her husband a miserable life. Apparently Gods know how to do it.

So Shiva hastened to the woods as fast as a wind thinking that if he couldn’t find a way out, at least he could hide there from the furious wife. And then he saw an elephant. “Oh my,” thought Shiva, “what a splendid idea!”  Making a second beheading in a day he rushed back to Parvati with a poor elephant’s head. “There,” he said putting the animal’s head on a body of his child, “Even better then before!”  Unexpectedly Parvati dug the idea.

Yeap, that is how the story went. They all overcame this little incident and Ganesha got used to the new elephant’s head. Besides, having a huge head had some obvious benefits. There are some symbols that need to be mentioned here. For example, since elephants are considered smart animals, the God with the elephant head automatically goes into the  wise Gods category. His small eyes say about consentraion, big ears let him listen more and small mouth does not allow to chat in vain.

I have to tell you the kids’ve loved the tale! They had so much fun discussing it, we almost did not have time to finish the project.

As it was a difficult draw with lots of measurements we made the acrylic paintings on small 5×7 canvas boards.
Preliminary sketch was the hardest part but I showed the steps and the kids followed.

1. First, you need to define, where your Ganesha will be on a board. Put the marks where the head and the feet are.
Define the head.
Measure the body and sketch the legs.


2. Do not bother with details, sketch his arms, all four of them.


3.Next draw where he sits and put a little mouse beside his foot.
What’s with the mouse my students’ve asked? First it’s his means of transportation; second.. imagine a hot summer day and an ice cream stand. Gamesha’s little mouse is the desire to have this ice cream, or to sleep late, or to play games on iPad when you need to do your homework . As long as the little mouse stays small and doesn’t grow the size of a dog,  you are fine. You can control it and make it know its place.
The project took as about 45 minutes, with the sketch being the most difficult. A word of advice: avoid making the sketch too detailed because the paint will cover the meticulous work at the end.

During a class we enjoyed listening to the  Indian Flute and it was wonderfully relaxing and sweet.

Ready? Here are our beautiful paintings:

Emma, 7
Mark, 9
Anton, 11
Maria, 11
Anna, 5

If you wish to learn more stories about Ganesha, follow this link.

To watch a cute little cartoon about Ganesha, click here.

I hope you have a great class!

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