Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Line Design Landscapes, Inspired by Van Gogh!

Ah yes.. the world of watercolor and the joy of a sharpie! 

My wonderful third graders are always awe inspired by Van Gogh! In the past they have painted the Starry Night Sky and his Sunflowers, but this is their first time working with his drawings. We studied how he used line in his drawings for texture and movement and embellishment, and created our own landscapes with line as an embellishment. We also looked at how he used thin and thick line and different ways of drawing lines for contrast in art. They had so much fun learning about the two elements of art line, and contrast, and using Van Gogh as our inspiration, that they couldn't wait to begin! 

Our first steps were to draw the landscape with a horizon line (yes another art term!) and the rolling hills. They had a choice to add in some sort of building, such as a farm building or a cabin, yet I left it open ended as to what they wanted to draw in the distance.  One child wanted to add in an airport! I showed them how to draw a path rolling over the hills getting smaller in the distance. When they finished their drawing, they began to outline in sharpie and add lines in. 

They were told to leave the line designs neatly in a row, to show contrast by adding thick and thin sharpie and trying not to repeat designs.  Since line could create shape, I let them create no more than one shape design as it would get to busy if they did more than that. They had to create designs in every area of their artwork, and could do this with sharpie as they drew it. 

When it came time for watercolors, I re-demonstrated how to do the wash technique which they learned about with their pumpkins, but this time I emphasized holding the brush properly so they can use the bristles without scraping the sides of the brush! We also discussed blotting so we don't make puddles and using a dry brush technique and just the tip of the brush for tiny areas. So much to learn! 

I love those swirls! Look at that path go over the hills!
They did amazing! All in a good days work!
Even the children who have trouble holding  a pencil did fabulous! Look at those smiley faces and vibrating sky!

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