Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hokusai: lines and patterns

colored markers

Artist Background:
Hokusai was one of the great Japanese woodblock print artists. We watched this really great animated video from youtube here about the life of Hokusai (I used the ladybug to project it off my iphone screen. It would have been better if I brought in my speakers, though). **NOTE ABOUT THE YOUTUBE VIDEO: stop before the credits! There's lots of sumo wrestler butt cheek. It's totally innocent but might be distracting for the kids :)

After the movie, I brought up a picture of his famous The Great Wave woodblock (pictured at top), and we talked about how it's divided into sections: the background, which is plain, and then the waves themselves. Here is the 2-slide slideshow I used. The second slide I am so sorry to say is an image I found on pinterest and have not been able to track it back to the original artist, so there is no artist credit... but we used his/her interpretation of this work as our inspiration, dividing the waves into sections and filling each with different patterns.

How: have the kids look at the Great Wave woodblock and begin drawing waves on their paper. (It helps to show them on the board how to just start, drawing a great big wave across the middle.) Then from there, they can sub-divide that wave and even throw in a mountain (Hokusai's is Mt. Fuji) or volcano... Once they have waves, they can then fill them in with whatever patterns they like. You might want to have some kids come up to the board and share a pattern...

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