Friday, November 4, 2011

in the woods with wolf.

This week the 4th graders looked at the work of artist Wolf Kahn. He is a painter who has been examining nature in landscape paintings for the past 60 years. In many of those paintings and drawings are trees.He often uses color in a fictional way. He isn't concerned with an accurate color depiction of the settings he paints, even though he does make his forms look 3d by using light and dark colors.

Students successfully identified the key characteristics of a landscape and they identified examples around my classroom. When we looked at Wolf's work they were able to identify his use of warm and cool colors as well.

The students job for this lesson was to create a landscape that used warm and cool colors, used light and dark color to imply volume, and used vertical placement to create depth in the image.

Students used oil pastels to create the trees, so that the colors would be rich and vibrant. They drew the trunks first, followed by the branches, then tree tops. After that, they added a darker or lighter color to make the trees more 3d. We used a stretched out raindrop shape to create the trunks. I thought the thicker shape would make it easier to add the light or dark second element, even though many of Wolf's trees are much skinnier. I was concerned about the colors getting mushed together if the trunks were thinner. Because of this modification, their landscapes look more like the Lorax's truffala trees than Wolf's wooded areas.

Once the trees were done, we switched over to watercolors to add the sky and ground colors. Students used the opposite color scheme of their trees.

I demonstrated how to apply more water to the paint to make a tint, or to make it lighter. i also showed them how to go back and add strokes of color to the grass to give it a different texture than the smooth feel of the sky. I emphasized that the strokes would be more clear if they waited a couple minutes for their base ground color to dry.

I got the idea for this project after seeing an image from a Wolf Kahn lesson posted on pinterest.
Thanks for the inspiration cleaver feather:)

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