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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Texture Grant Wood Landscapes

5th graders just finished up learning about Iowa native Grant Wood famous for his iconic American style, capturing and expressing Iowa Americana Heritage, textured, lush, farmland landscapes, and of course, his prize winning "American Gothic"
Myself with Grant Wood's "American Gothic" at the
Chicago Art Institute. I bet you think you know it's a painting of a
farmer and his wife. NOPE! Grant asked his dentist and sister, Nan, to
model for the painting! It's 'gothic' because he used a Gothic Architectural
window for the window on the farmhouse. Now you know! Read "Getting to Know
the World's Greatest Artists: Grant Wood".

Grant Wood's "Young Corn" painting

Students focused on a very famous Grant Wood landscape painting called "Young Corn". We learned about his famous sphere-like textured trees and landscape and tried our hand at making a young corn of our own and focusing on these famous traits!

First we drew wavy lines for the rolling farmland hills, talked about perspective, how trees were very large up close and smaller far away, and learned how to make a basic large circle and fill it with tiny spheres for texture the trees and bushes.

Use pencil to draw out the sketch of the landscape and focus on lush bushes and trees and rolling hills

We also talked about how there were many tints, shades, colors of green within the painting that added depth. So each table got a coolwhip container of many crayon shades & tints of green along with sky blue (sky) and browns (farmland and skinny tree trunks).  After pencil, we traced over any pencil lines with many different colors of green, tracing over pencil HARD to get those bold contrasts.

Then comes the best part, coloring in with TEXTURE PLATES! We put the texture plates underneath the paper of the outlined area you want to color in, and rub/color lightly in the area! It picks up the raised texture from the plate and adds beautiful contrast variety over the composition. Students loved the texture plates and really emphasized the concept of texture in Grant Wood's paintings.

I MADE our texture plates by recycling thick pieces of cardboard someone donated and simply drew patterns with Elmer's GLUE and let it DRY! The glue dries raised so when a rubbing is done it picks up the 'texture'.

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