This year the 3rd grade classes compared landscape paintings by Andre Derain and Donald Archer after being introduced to the 2 artists through a quick powerpoint. The discussion was steered towards how both artists created 3d space, or depth, by going from big to small shapes, by going from dar to light color, by going from high detail to low detail, and by going from low to high on the picture plane.
The artists may have used different color schemes and different methods of mark making, but their approaches to creating 3d depth on canvas were pretty similar.
Students worked in table teams to come up with a list of similarities and differences. After sharing out, I walked students through a contour line drawing in white oil pastel, of a landscape featuring the Coronado Bridge, a local landmark.
The next class students added color to their landscapes to make the scene have 3d depth. The final result combines the unnatural coloring of Derain with the smooth media handling of Archer. Depth is created, like both of the artists did, through a variety of means.
This was a 2 session lesson, since the compare and contrast portion was added into the mix.