Emily Carr Watercolor Trees
Submitted by: Melissa Corry
Gifted art teacher, Marshall County, MS
Title of Lesson: Emily Carr Trees
Grade level: Adaptable for all ages
Show students the PowerPoint on Emily Carr (See below). The PowerPoint highlights her life and shows some of her work.
I tell students that what is interesting about this artist, is that during the late 1800's, women did not generally pursue careers or gain recognition. She went to London and studied art, then came back to Canada and taught a ladies painting group. After that, she went to Paris and studied art. She painted in a semi-abstract way that the people in Canada did not appreciate at the time. She became discouraged and quit painting. When she was in her fifties, she met a group of painters and became interested in art again. She finally gained recognition as an artist. She liked to paint nature and lots of trees.
Carr's works show a lot of rhythm and her trees appear to be in motion. We look at examples of her artwork. I then discuss common mistakes people make when drawing a tree. I tell students that trees grow out of the ground and are not sitting on top of the ground.
We discuss how to draw the bottom of the tree and curve it gently out of the ground. We then discuss that it is best not to place limbs directly across from each other like arms, but to stagger them. We discuss how to make the limbs and how they get smaller as they go out . We discuss that the tree trunk gets slightly smaller as it goes up. We look at ways of adding texture by cross hatching or using wavy wood grain lines. Students then practice drawing their own trees either from their imagination or from a picture.
Finally, student draw an odd number of trees onto their white paper. They add hills or other natural details, no people or animals. Students may add mountains or a moon. They outline the entire drawing with a black sharpie marker. Then they take a white crayon and add swirls and lines any where they choose. Finally they watercolor starting with the background first. Students are encouraged to be creative and use fantastical colors because these are whimsical paintings.
Goals / Objectives:
The student will learn about Canadian artist Emily Carr. The student will learn how to observe and draw trees. The student will learn to use white Crayons to create a resist. The student will learn to create a watercolor tree landscape inspired by Emily Carr.
Heavy white Drawing Paper suitable for watercolor paint.
Watercolor Paint, Sable Brushes, Crayons, and Sharpie Fine Point Markers.
Examples of trees either from life or pictures.
Teacher observation, class discussion, participation, and final work.