Friday, September 25, 2009

Fine Art class #7 & #8 ~ Winslow Homer

These last two classes have been great. It is fun to see what kids have learned and be able to apply it to future lessons. Today and last Friday we studied Winslow Homer. He was an amazing American artist that started out drawing for newspapers and ended up being a master of capturing moments. He created so many beautiful works that it was hard to concentrate on the any one style, for he used many styles and many mediums, in his art work.

At first we talked a bit about his life and watched Winslow Homer ~ An American Original. Then we had a good chat about what it was to be an artist for a news paper in that time and how they were crucial; like the photographers of our time. They were counted on to draw exactly what they saw, and usually they were amazing artists as well, for they had to have their work not only be on paper, but on wood printing blocks so that they could add it to the printing press for the paper. To be able to make these took amazing skill, and Homer was a master.

Thousands of his paintings survived him. And his love of the pencil and paper were some of the things we concentrated on first. We talked about Monochromatic color schemes, and using only black and white to make the picture have depth using nothing but color value. We used the ditto from the Meet The Masters curriculum for this activity.

The kids were only allowed to use one pencil from their sets to color this whole page. They had to think of how hard they were pressing and the color values they had used next to each other to fill in all areas and create some depth to their picture. It was a neat exercise.

Then this week we started off with more talk on color value and depth perception. The activity that we were doing today had a lot with reflective plains, so we concentrated on that for a while. The kids each were given a chance to see what different plains will do to a reflected image. For example, if you are above the reflective plain you will see a nearly perfect image... like this:

But if you are at eye level with the plain (as you are with the sea and the sunset) you will see this:

Then, I had one of the kids move to the side of the mirror and as they looked they took turns shaking it a bit to simulate waves moving the reflective surface. They got SUCH a kick out of this activity. They probably didn't get all of the terminology, but that can always be touched up later. They completely got the concept and they really enjoyed finding other reflective surfaces during class to tell me about how the light was distorted and how long it made the reflection. These kids are truly amazing!

I illustrated what we were going to show on the paper up on the white board, showing the reflection of the sunset in a visually accurate way. They followed suit on pre-made pieces of paper put together to show the two plains of the sky and ocean (we made them last week).

We used torn paper (as suggested by Meet the Masters) to make monochromatic clouds and a rocky shore out of greys, whites, and blacks.

Then we made the sunset and the reflection, along with a few bird sillouettes. We discussed the bird siouettes in detail and why they would only be sillouettes in the setting sun. I took my camera and snapped a few pictures to show how this would be true to the eye if there was something between them and the setting sun.

I love the results for each kiddo. They were all so determined to get it finished and perfected.

After the project was completed we had a little review... and as I showed the paintings I have used in past classes, they kept seeing the way people painted reflections and pointing them out! LOL! Even Van Gogh painted a reflection of a person in the water on The Red Vineyard. I would have never even seen it... I love these kids.

1 comment:

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