Cycle 1 Week 16- Durer

Durer created beautiful masterpieces in all sorts of media, from oil paint to watercolor, and etchings to woodblock prints.  His prints were beyond compare, especially for the time period, and still wow us today.  One of his most famous woodblock prints is Rhinoceros, and so this lesson plan focuses on animal subject matter for creating our own prints.  Durer also did wonderful watercolors of animals, full of texture and detail, which we can also use to inspire our students. 

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Cycle 3 Week 18- Jim Davis

Sorry for getting this lesson out so late!

I think categorizing Jim Davis as a “Great Artist” is a stretch. Famous cartoonist? Yes. Up there with O’Keeffe and Pollock? Not so much. Luckily, the next edition of the Foundations Guide does not include him in the curriculum, so you don’t have to listen to me rant and rave about the subject.

This lesson is super simple. Focusing on OiLS (the drawing concepts from week one), have students design a cartoon character. I suggest having them pick an animal as their character. Use the following lesson plan and handouts as a guide. Students can copy the facial features, or create their own. Once designed, put the character into comic strip form. If time, kids can color their comic strip, or present their work to the group.

Here is the lesson plan for Cycle 3 Week 18- Jim Davis

I hope you all have a wonderful semester, and I’ll be back with more lessons starting in August!

Cycle 3 Week 17- Roy Lichtenstein

This will probably be one of your students’ favorite projects this year! Roy Lichtenstein’s paintings, inspired by comic strips, are colorful and bold and kids can immediately connect with his style.

Lichtenstein’s paintings were large-scale, exaggerating the Ben-Day dot technique used to print colors at the time. We’ll use Q-tips and tempera paint to mimic the look, and also look at color schemes that work well with our pop art project. Continue Reading →

Cycle Week 16- Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth has been one of my favorite artists for a long while now. For some reason I’m drawn to his melancholy, quiet pieces. Is that weird? Maybe a sign of deeper psychological issues? I don’t know, but I do like his stuff.

Like Wyeth, we’ll be painting with watercolors. This medium is a challenge, but we’re going to keep it simple. A little color mixing and a few painting techniques, and voila! a melancholy, dreary landscape. What’s not to love? Continue Reading →

Cycle 3 Week 15- Georgia O’Keeffe

For the next three weeks, the art lessons will focus on painting technique and color.

This week, we will copy a painting by the famous American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. The focus will be on mixing colors smoothly on the canvas, and creating light and dark areas for dimension and contrast.

O’Keeffe completed around two hundred paintings of flowers, which are iconic of her style. Depending on the closeness of her viewpoint, some feel completely abstracted while others are representational. The painting in this lesson is clearly of purple flowers, but still shows O’Keeffe’s simplicity of form and focus on color and light. Continue Reading →

Cycle 3 Week 14- Norman Rockwell

For me, Norman Rockwell’s illustrations do more than tell a story. They often convey something deep about life and human fragility. Yes, many of his drawings are humorous, but even then they contain so much more. They capture the emotions of the subject, the complexity of a seemingly everyday scene. We connect with the inner thoughts of the people pictured. Norman Rockwell was extremely gifted with understanding and empathizing with people in all stages of life.

The learning targets for this week are (1) defining the word “illustration” and (2) conveying emotion through our work. Continue Reading →

Cycle 3 Week 13- Grandma Moses

Starting out the “Great Artists” this year we have Grandma Moses. Her work is considered folk art, meaning her art pieces reflect her community, culture, and the everyday things around her. She was not a formally trained artist, and amazingly did not even begin painting until her late seventies. In her paintings we see the quirky nature of her self-taught art: the flattened buildings, the funky use of perspective, and the robustly busy scenes. They are charming and endearing, and your students will love to create their own scene as well.

Though the lesson is primarily about Grandma Moses and folk art, this plan will also focus on learning the terms “foreground”, “middleground”, and “background”. It’s always nice to throw in some extra art terms and use these projects to practice specific techniques. Continue Reading →

Cycle 2 Week 18- Morisot and Playful Paint

This project is almost as fun as finger-painting!  Kids get to add items to the paint, creating unique and interesting textures.  Though our artist for the week, Berthe Morisot, didn’t paint with such unusual items, we will still incorporate her work into the project and connect her to the lesson.

In the lesson plan I have included simple drawings of some of her paintings.  The students will use the textured paint to fill in the pictures.  Because the paint is so thick, it is best to do this project in the beginning of the day so it has lots of time to dry. Continue Reading →

Cycle 2 Week 17- Degas’ Dancers

As a girl I loved looking at Degas’ work.  I was enamored by the beautiful ballerinas in voluminous tutus practicing their movements .  It seemed effortlessly feminine.  Though most of his work focuses on the female form, he also did paintings of men and children in everyday life.  The overarching theme in his work is the human figure, and he was able to expertly capture the movement of the body.

Because I want to teach my students about Degas’ mastery of the human figure, I am straying completely from the Discovering Great Artists lessons.  Instead, this lesson will teach VERY basic figure drawing ideas.  Don’t worry, it’s simple! Continue Reading →

Cycle 2 Week 16- Mini Monets

This week we move into Impressionism.  When we think of Impressionism we think of Claude Monet.  And when we think of Claude Monet we think of water lilies, landscapes, and dabbled paint.  This is exactly what we want our students to think of as well.  Hopefully by the time this project is done, they will have a permanent impression of Monet’s work and will be able to recall the imagery and technique of his style.

Not only will they see his style, but they will know what it feels like to paint as he did… with one exception.  Monet usually painted outdoors.  Though the Discovering Great Artists lesson has students painting what they see outside, this is hard to do during winter.  Here it is cold and snowy, with very little color outside.  To compensate for this, my lesson has students copy parts of Monet’s work, then do a landscape from their own head using his dabbing technique. Continue Reading →

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