Today we had a blast doing a lesson on one of my favorite artists, Franz Marc. We had a quick biographical intro and then I read, "The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse" by Eric Carle. I asked why he would have chosen to paint the animals the "wrong" colors. We brainstormed a number of possible reasons why they would maybe choose to paint that way, but then discussed further his desire to express emotions through colors and lines. We looked at a number of his works to see the different ways he used color and lines and then made a list of what feelings different colors could or usually do stand for. Here's my messy chalkboard of notes:
Then I had them pick a favorite animal and draw it lightly onto watercolor paper, reminding them repeatedly to fill up most of the page with their animal so it's the focus. They were to add simple background elements to fill the space and add interest, but not distract from the main event. When they were happy with their drawing, they traced the lines with a black crayon, pushing hard and trying to make some variety of thickness. Again for interest. I did a quick demo of "wet into wet" and had them then paint their animals in a color that best represented them. Being art camp where we highlight a different artist every day, we only had one class to complete it. If we'd had more time, I would've spent more time talking about mixing colors and blending to show volume and depth. But as it was, I think most of them ended up pretty happy with their work. I sent them home with an "extra work" sheet that asked which group Marc was part of, how they'd describe his paintings and what they liked/disliked about them. I look forward to reading their answers tomorrow and moving on to Roy Lichtenstein!