Thursday, January 22, 2009

Maybe Monet?

Monet is fun to try to emulate, because even though he was a master, it is very hard to get it wrong. Monet didn't really paint recognizable objects, he just painted "impressions" of them and let our own visual cortex do the rest of the work!

For this project you will need:

watercolor paper
oil pastel
watercolor pencils

Start by laying in a rainbow line all the way across the paper using a white oil pastel. Lay it in very heavy since we will want the oil to resist the subsequent layers of watercolor. Add another one. Add another rainbow line close to the top one and one about midway between the top and bottom. Add some vertical line along the bridge as supports.
Use oil pastel to add in the colorful flowers and some of the darker areas of leaves.
Do not try to make a flower shape or a leaf shape, just use dots and thick lines of color. Notice in the water there seems to be a movement from right to left and above the bridge on the left the tree is more dotted where as the area on the right above the bride is made more of vertical lines.
Now it is time for the watercolor pencil. In the center above the bridge there is a darker area that seems to draw us to the center of the picture. Lay this in with purples and blues. Avoid black for shadows. Monet used a technique of using the contrasting color to create shadows. It is very fun to learn about and can be an excellent crossover into science. Lay in the water side to side with greens and blues. Try to cover the whole area.
Last of all wet a paintbrush and go back over all the pencil areas, keeping in mind the direction I mentioned above: right to left in the water, dots in above the bridge to the left and vertical motion above the bridge to right.)
Having a sample of Monet's work nearby is helpful, but feel free to simply experiment too. Try some wet on wet techniques and see what happens.
Have fun!

Here are some other resources you may find helpful as well.

Garden of Praise
Miss Julie's Art School- Artist of the Week.(way down near the bottom of the page)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Aborginal Paintings(AKA Shameless Thievery)

I am a shameless lesson thief! I admit it, but I am so happy with how these projects are turning out, I really don't care. I must offer bucketfuls of thank yous to Patti at Deep Space Sparkle, however for the idea. The above picture is my sample version. The kids are taking a second week to finish theirs up. I am really proud of them for doing so. Usually we just move on and they complete projects at home. This project though needed so much careful detail that I just had to offer it for the second week.
From the way they look so far, they are going to be gorgeous and definite contenders for our County Fair Junior Art Exhibit known as the Indio Date Festival!

You can check out Deep Space Sparkle for directions on how to complete the project.
The only alteration I made was to outline pencil lines with black oil pastel after the painting and adding extra pattern detail with metallic marker.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


This week in art class we looked at Raphael. Among his many great paintings, he painted St.George and the Dragon. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to get the boys excited about what they were drawing. In the study of Renaissance artists, there aren't all that many subjects for boys to get all that exited about that are also appropriate. Lots of portraits, religious paintings, and nudes. Dragons on the other hand are perfect for boys and girls. All the kids who tried this one did really well. I have omitted a few of the steps above just because of space. If you'd like the in between steps just leave me a comment and I'll get them to you.
As always, I like to let you know about ways you can expand these lessons to incorporate other aspects of a curriculum, and this lesson again can serve as a gateway to a wealth of learning...

Science: Dragons, could they have been another species of dinosaurs? What else could they have been? Explore the myths and legends surrounding these great mythological creatures.

History, Social Studies and Geography: Where and when are these legends coming from? What country and time period seems to have generated the majority of dragon lore? Learn about the Chinese New Year and what role dragons play in Chinese culture.

Language Arts and Literature: Read St. George and the Dragon, Retold by Margaret Hodges and Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman or Droofus the Dragon by Bill Peete for younger kids.
Write dragon poems and stories. Create your own dragon legends.

Math: Estimation; how many scales might have a dragon have? How big is a dragon and how many square inches does a scale cover, then estimate how many scales it would take to cover the whole dragon.

Art History: Learn more about Raphael at Art Smarts4 Kids or at Garden of Praise and try drawing your own dragons. The illustration at the beginning of this post was done with regular markers and blended with a blender marker.