Posts Tagged ‘elementary school art lesson’


A Still Life by Henri Matisse

The very beautiful still-life paintings by Ms. Love’s Fifth Grade class in 2015. I’ve been meaning to put these up for a while. The students first learned about color mixing. They did these paintings in one session, painting from still lifes set up with colored cloths and fruit. They are done with tempera paint on canvas board (just because the teacher had some she wanted to get used!).img_2132smallimg_2133smallimg_2134smallimg_2135smallimg_2136smallimg_2137smallimg_2138smallimg_2139smallimg_2140smallimg_2141smallimg_2142smallimg_2143smallimg_2144smallimg_2145smallimg_2146smallimg_2147smallimg_2148smallimg_2149smallimg_2150smallimg_2151smallimg_2152small

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In June I taught at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp mini camp elementary school session. Sixty children rotated through in groups of 15. The kids I had were going into third through 6th grades. This is what we did on day one – we had under an hour, and some ace parent helpers – we had no running water, so used five-gallon buckets.

The first day I showed them some slides of Kandkinsky. We worked on color complements – the colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. When you put them next to each other, each makes the other look more intense. We didn’t have time for all the kids, but we had different children tell what they liked about the picture in the slide, or find where complementary colors were next to each other. I demonstrated color mixing, mainly to show how you rinse and blot the brush between dipping into colors.

The kids were instructed to mix at least one new color, and encouraged, as they went along, to try color complements.

We used big paper, and each kid got a palette with primary colors and white, two brushes (large and small), and water and folded paper towels for blotting. They got a second paper plate for mixing.

A trick for cutting a lot of (institutional) paper towels off a roll: use a utility knife to cut the roll on opposite sides.

This went really well. It also helps to have the kids get their brushes, apron, and paper as they come in the door.

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