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Friday, March 4, 2011

Making an 'Impression(ism)' with Mini Masterpieces

4th grade is summing up all of their knowledge of different Impressionist artists that we've studied. We've learned about the history of Impressionists Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Seurat, and Edgar Degas and more importantly each of their distinct brushstrokes and masterpieces! It was almost like completing a creative test!

I made a simplified example of a famous work from each of the famous Impressionists that we studied. Then set up table stations with a variety of materials to make the type of brushstroke for each masterpiece.

 For  Van Gogh, we learned that his signature style of brushstroke or way he applied his thick paint, was more of long, dashed line. We demonstrated this on his famous 'Starry Night' with colored pencils.

Degas was known for a sketchy, back and fourth gestural mark when drawing with his pastels and observational studies of ballerinas. He didn't blend pastels with his finger, more so with the drawing tip of the pastels to create textural marks. Students used pastel chalk to mimic his style.

Monet used dabs of layed paint and color. Here is some of his famous' Waterlilies'. We did this with brushes and paint for the Monet station.

Seurat used tiny dots of layered color for his larger than life painting 'Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jette'. We thought fine tip markers would work very well for Seurat's 'pointillism' style.

Next time after when they have dried , cut them out and glue a square of posterboard or cardstock behind each of the mini masterpieces to give them some weight so they're not flimsy. Then I showed students how to make a mini easel so they can interchange their mini masterpieces for display! I talked about safety with glue guns and how to make the easel. I emphasized that there needs to be a lean backwards (not forwards) so that the mini masterpiece won't fall off.

Seurat station for pointlism

Degas station with chalk pastel

Busy creating masterpieces and learning about brushstrokes!

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