Submitted by: Carolyn Brown, Lynnhaven Middle School, Virginia Beach, Virginia Unit: Celebrating Nature: The Landscape Concept: Natural Changes Theme: Monet Goes Outdoors and More! Activity: Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking. Stamp print border Pacing: 1 to 1 ½ weeks
(Adapted from workshop by S. Carden)
Select and display 6 to 8 landscape paintings from different periods and in different styles. Students should observe and discuss how these artists were inspired by nature. Observe and discuss the relationship of the paintings to history and culture.
End discussion with a focus on the landscape paintings of the Impressionist artists. Display and observe several landscape paintings by Monet. Share details about the life of Monet and his love for paintings outdoors. Observe the techniques and loose brushstroke used by Monet to paint light on his subjects. How did Monet use color?
Give students an overview of assignment and objectives.
* Observe and discuss a variety of landscape paintings from different periods and styles.
* Identify Monet as an Impressionist landscape painter.
* Draw from direct observation of nature.
* Use sketches from nature to draw and paint a landscape
* Achieve a feeling of depth in painting.
* Explore color mixing and use a color scheme in painting.
* Recognize the "tree" as a natural resource used for many purposes and products.
Students draw a tree before observation and instruction.
Sit-upons (We make "sit-upons" by putting a stack of newspapers in a brown paper bag and taping the end shut. I keep a stack from year to year.)
Outline with students your expectations for participation and behavior during their drawing adventure outdoors!
Students understand that they are going outdoors to collect ideas and sketches to be used in a painting. My student are given the following drawing assignments:
* Draw 3 or more different trees while visually exploring the tree. Look to see how the tree comes up from the ground. Look to see and draw how a branch is drawn if it appears on the front of the tree. How about branches appearing from behind? How do the branches divide into smaller branches?
* Draw a close up view of the bark on the tree. How can you represent texture on a flat surface?
* Draw close ups 2 to 3 different leaves to be used as images on your printing block.
Students will use outdoor sketches to create landscape composition. Landscape compositions should include the following:
* Subject or center of interest (tree or trees)
* Shows depth by including a foreground, middleground, background
* Images should touch, overlap, and/or extend off the page
* Include images that are small, medium and large
* Fill space!
Painting is started with the background. We discuss all possible colors seen in skies. Each table shares a community palette with plenty of white plus primaries and black. Students start with white and mix several sky colors on personal palette. Their favorites are used to paint the sky.
Next, the tree trunks are painted. Students are encouraged to use at least three values to give dimension and texture to the trees. Completed painting, except for foliage. Foliage will be added using sponge painting.
Encourage students to be free and enjoy the painting experience! Remind them to explore the colors and loose brush stokes of the Impressionist and Monet.
Three stations are set up for sponge painting. Each station represents a season and has a palette of colors that work for mixing the foliage during that season. Students are encouraged to look at their composition and choose the color scheme that would best enhance their painting.
Demonstrate sponge painting technique. Provide paper plates or scrap paper for color mixing and blotting.
Students complete painting by adding foliage with sponge painting. Relate sponging to the textured brush strokes used by the Impressionist.
My students have created a variety of leaf-shaped printing blocks. I keep them from year to year to offer an assortment for printmaking. Soft Kut scraps are kept handy for those students who finish early. They can use their leaf sketches to make a printing block to add to the collection.
Students prepare for printing by first creating a mat for their painting. They choose two sheets of colored paper. They can deckle the edge of one paper by tearing or cutting the edge with decorative scissors. Canvas paper landscape is glued onto paper mats.
Six printing stations of different colors are set up in the classroom. Each station has inks, brayers, inking surface, and assorted leaf shaped printing blocks.
Expectations and rotation procedure from station to station are clearly outlined and understood before printing process begins. (I vary this process depending on class size and behavior!)
Demonstrate inking and printing process. Encourage students to overlap and repeat images and colors.
During a class period, each student will visit three of the six printing stations. They should choose three stations that have printing ink color close to colors in their color scheme.
Follow up and Enrichment Activities
* Poetry – Share the poem, "Heart of a Tree" by Henry Cuyler Bunner, with students. Students can write their own poem about a tree.
* Explore the "tree" as a natural resource. List products made from trees. How are trees used for recreation? What are the benefits of trees to wildlife? How are trees used as a food source? List a variety of local trees. How important is wood to our lifestyle? What would like be without trees?
Note from Carolyn: I teach this lesson to seventh graders who take art as a nine week exploratory. Therefore, I move fairly quickly through the lesson. More time would be better, but adjust lesson to fit your schedule!
Rubric (adapted from Marianne Galyk)
Circle the numberbin pencil that best shows how well you feel that you completed that criterion for the assignment.