Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winter Landscapes

Two gorgeous winter landscapes to draw inspiration from are Monet's Magpie, and John Henry Twachtman's american take, Winter Harmony (above).

Julie Cortinas directed us to this great lesson at our January art committee meeting. There are many variations of this to be found online; this one from Deep Space Sparkle is the one Julie and I both used. Here are some additional practical tips:

-slideshare presentation found here

-for art background, we discussed Monet's Magpie painting (see slideshow for visual). This link from the Musee d'Orsay, where the painting hangs, will give you a great overview of the painting and its reception in Paris when Monet painted it. (We also have a Smart About Art: Monet book in the art cabinet that you may want to read to the kids if time allows.)
-after we had a brief discussion about the inspiration, we discussed shadows. To help make this discussion more concrete, I brought along a flashlight and a stick. With the lights off, I shone the flashlight on the stick from different sides, making it really clear that a shadow falls on the opposite side of the light source. It's nice to point out to the kids that all of your shadows in a painting will usually fall the same direction (if you are trying to make a picture that is realistic rather than abstract).
-I was concerned that it was going to take a long time to distribute masking tape and that it would be difficult for kids to tear (I did this lesson for both second and fourth grade classes). It turned out not to be a problem - I walked around and taped a length of tape on the sides of everyone's desks (maybe 3 minutes); and all of the kids were able to tear the tape on their own.
-We sprinkled salt on the picture to create a snow-flaky texture (you can see this in the example above). I have since found out that using salt this way makes the picture not totally archival. Just FYI.
-I used the liquid watercolors - love them. Every desk had a little plastic bowl and I alternated water, blue paint, and purple paint (we kept the tones cool for winter) in the bowls for the kids to share, which worked fine. Just make sure and remind them to rinse their brush in the water bowl before changing colors - or it might be a better plan to keep the brushes with the colors.

-instead of cool winter tones, use warm red, yellow, brown to make an autumn background if you are looking for a seasonal fall lesson. Maybe after the tape comes off the kids can use gold liquid watercolor to add a few gold leaves, still on the birch/aspen trees and on the ground (*send me a picture if you try this! I'll add it here!)

1 comment:

  1. HI, the link to the Deep Space instruction isn't working. I'm not sure what to search for on their website? Can you tell me what the same of their project was?