Monday, January 24, 2011

The Joy of a Finished Painting

I love how unique each painting turned out even though the students were working from the same subject and color palette. Our prior painting lesson was fairly controlled so we could learn about composition, the different stages a painting goes through, and how to work in layers. With this foundation, the students were now free to make their own final creative decisions.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Painting Lesson: Acrylics on Canvas from Still Life

We started our first paintings on canvas this week, I'm so excited with the early stages of all the paintings that I can't wait for this week's class when the kids complete them. We started the class by looking through a book of Pablo Picasso's work. We focused on his still life paintings and talked about using the still life as our own subject matter. I set up the arrangement using my son's guitar, an old suitcase my mom brought over from India over 50 years ago, a nice little lamp, and some other goodies. The children started by completing some preliminary drawings in their sketch books.

We started by drawing the table top first, followed by the suitcase. Finally, the other objects were  drawn; we payed close attention to their size and placement in relationship to the suitcase.


I described the details the kids should include in their drawings and reminded them to really look at the still life, and try hard not to draw from memory.

Once the students were happy with their compositions, they moved onto canvas. With colored pencils, the children sketched on their canvas. They could chose which part of the still life they wanted to draw, but they were asked to include the table top and the plant.   Finally, it was time to paint. The children first blocked out the negative spaces of the painting using a yellow ochre color. This became the base coat for the painting -- it will give depth and texture to the next layer of the painting and make subsequent colors richer than if they were just painted onto the white canvas. Next, the kids chose their table top colors and blocked in the suitcase.

I can't wait for this week when we'll get to work on more layers in the paintings. Stay tuned!

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