Serving Art Educators
and Students Since 1994
Submitted by: Donnalyn Schuster
Frankfort Schuyler C.S.D. Frankfort, New York.
UNIT: Painting - Landscape -- Henri Rousseau
Lesson: It’s A Jungle Out There!
Grade Level: Sixth Grade (adaptable to elementary)
Works in the Style of Henri Rousseau
Objectives: Students will:
Explore master paintings by Rousseau
Be aware of sources for subject matter.
Use Modified Contour Drawing skills - drawing from life
Understand how the artist creates depth by overlapping images.
Design and create an "imaginary" tropical landscape for a tempera painting.
Demonstrate understanding of color schemes and mixing techniques.
Reflect on Rousseau’s style as it influenced their original works.
NYS Visual Arts Standards-
Intermediate Levels 1, 2, 3
Essential Question – How does an artist find resources for works of art and transform them to express an idea?
Assorted house plants (check with a local florist), Silk Flower Assortment, photographs of birds/animals etc, Newsprint, Tag board (Poster Board or heavy drawing paper), Tempera Paint, Brushes, water dishes, newspapers, Paint shirts
Rousseau - Rousseau's jungle paintings consisted of ornamental variations of plant leaves, among which he set brilliantly coloured predators, natives and naked beauties. In so doing, the artist evinced intuitive principles of design and compositions, which subsequent avant-garde artists had to work out for themselves with great effort.
Dreaming with Rousseau - This engaging board book features beautiful works of art paired with playful, rhyming text. In Dreaming with Rousseau, the artist's vibrant paintings invite readers on a journey to dreamlike jungles packed with playful monkeys, a racing tiger, and other surprises.
Henri Rousseau - With 80 color illustrations, this book commemorates the hundredth anniversary of the artist's death, placing at its core Rousseau's fascination with the frictions between a domesticated West and an untamed imaginary natural world.
(definitions below) Use this list for vocabulary quiz>
1. Modified Contour Drawing:
2. Organic Shapes:
3. Positive Space:
4. Negative Space:
c. Middle Ground:
6. Variety: Design Principle:
7. Unity: Design Principle:
8. Contrast: Design Principle:
9. Center of Interest:
11. Color Schemes:
16. Tempera Paint:
17. Landscape Painting:
1. Introduce student to new terms (1 – 6.) Demonstrate drawing in the MCD style, comparing shapes and spaces. Discuss the idea of drawing from life, things in front of you to study details and relationships of parts. (Brief discussion of still life as source for ideas)
2. Work on a series of initial contour drawings of plants and silk flowers, and then discuss ways to create depth and fill up the scene.
3. Students will work on newsprint to create an illustration showing variety/overlapping/and realism on newsprint paper. Work from photographs of animals and birds.
1. Review terms and concepts from last class.
2. Give new terms (# 7 – 10, 17)
3. Show Video "Dropping in on Rousseau" and encourage careful observation of his style and some of the art concepts worked on. Sample video questions below
a. Use worksheet if needed.
b. Discuss last work without video prompt for informal assessment of term understanding.
4. Give Rousseau biography and 3 questions to answer. On back of sheet, plan an idea for your overlapping tropical painting.
5. Give Color Wheels and complete terms 11 – 15.
1. Review terms and concepts. Discuss one of the prints from the video.
2. Start compositions for paintings. Students can do them first on newsprint, then on final paper. Consider use of plants and flowers, where to repeat images, change sizes. Hide animals, birds, insects in paintings where desired.
3. Encourage light lines, careful composition. Remember to leave an area for the "surprise" element.
4. Remind student to bring in paint shirts for next lesson.
1. Tempera Painting Demonstration:
a. Mixing greens/testing colors.
b. Cleaning brushes.
c. Using right brush for area.
d. Clean up discussion.
2. Start in foreground, and then move to background.
Session 5 – 6:
1. Individual work.
2. Insertion of surprise element (done on a separate piece of paper, trimmed & glued in).
3. Review for quiz on Rousseau.
1. Write reflection of work.
1. Verbally use terms correctly.
2. Demonstrate understanding of contour line drawing.
3. Create a well-composed composition using the design principles.
4. Demonstrate competence in painting skills and mixing colors.
5. Demonstrate visually and orally an understanding of Rousseau’s influence on their paintings.
6. Craftsmanship in work and time on task.
Rousseau Unit Assessments:
Objective (Written Work)
Accurately interpret masterworks by Rousseau via writing assignments (see assignment for details)
Will not or cannot accurately interpret masterworks by Rousseau in writing assignment.
Interprets masterworks by Rousseau in limited ways or with slight support in writing.
Accurately interprets masterworks by Rousseau in a variety of ways and with support in writing.
Demonstrate use of contour line drawing.
Create a well-composed composition showing fore/middle/background.
Used a variety of sizes of objects.
Painted with variety of greens and used care in brushwork.
Cannot or will not use contour line drawing to effectively express ideas.
Little effort put into composition, one layer shown.
Most forms show only one size.
Minimal effort in color mixing and painting, no depth.
Demonstrates understanding of concept of MCD, some forms drawn in this style.
Student created 2 layers in composition.
Most forms show at least 2 sizes.
At least 3 types of greens used, some care with brushwork.
Effectively uses MCD style of drawing to render images.
Student created 3 layers in composition.
Forms are done in variety of sizes.
At least 5 kinds of greens used, craftsmanship with brushwork
Thoughtfully reflect upon learning in a written statement
Will not or cannot thoughtfully reflect upon learning. Minimal writing or incomplete areas.
Reflect upon learning with limited care and thoughtfulness. Uses Some vocabulary terms.
Thoughtfully reflects upon learning and supports ideas. Uses examples from Rousseau’s’ work and our vocabulary.
Rousseau Painting Definitions:
1.Modified Contour Drawing: drawing using only lines and no values.
2.Organic Shapes: areas that have an irregular edge as opposed to geometric shapes. Often found in nature.
3.Positive Space: Filled or occupied area (space)
4.Negative Space: Empty or unoccupied area (space)
5.Overlapping: Where one object partially covers up another. A method used to show depth or distance.
a. Depth: The illusion of space or distance in a work of art.
b. Foreground: Area closest to you in a work of art. Object in foreground are the largest.
c. Middle Ground: Area in middle part of work. Objects slightly smaller here.
d. Background: Area in back of work. Objects are the smallest here.
6. Variety: (Design Principle:) – Using different sizes of objects to create interest "small, medium, large, super size
7. Unity:( Design Principle:) – a force that holds a work of art together. Often is the repeated use of the same color or shapes.
8. Contrast:( Design Principle:) The difference in values that makes you notice an area in a work of art (Ex. Dark against light)
9. Center of Interest: What you notice first in a work of art. Often created by size, color or Contrast
10. Theme:Idea for a series of works of art (ex. Jungle scenes, winter scenes, etc.
11. Color Schemes: A special group of colors that creates a mood.
12. Warm: Create a "warm" sense – with reds, yellows and oranges. Warm colors are known as advancing colors.
13. Cool: Create a cool or calm feeling. Greens, blues, purples. Also known as receding colors.
14. Analogous: A color family known as "neighbors" on the Color Wheels – sharing a common base color (ex. Red, red-violet, violet, blue violet all shares the base color of RED.)
15. Complimentary: Color opposites on Color Wheels – create excitement (ex. Red and green)
16. Tempera Paint and thick, water based, chalky paint for painting on heavy paper.
17. Landscape Painting: Paintings of the outdoors.
Dropping in on Rousseau Video Questions:
1. Where did Rousseau do his paintings? How did Rousseau get ideas?
2. In "Tropical Forest With Monkeys" tell what you see:
3. How did he show depth or distance?
4. What was in the portrait "Juniet's Cart"
5. What is unusual in Sleeping Gypsy
Now... turn over this sheet. Which of Rousseau’s paintings is your favorite? Explain why using our vocabulary and what you remember from the video. Write 1 paragraph using complete sentences.