Sunday, October 31, 2010

Autumn Tree Silhouettes

The past month has been bizarrely warm, producing some amazing and inspiring sunsets. Every drive home, I've been amazed at the vivid colors and beautiful silhouettes that have occurred. Most of the photos below were taken on my mostly boring drive home(by the way, I don't recommend driving while taking pictures!)

I knew I had to do a lesson on silhouettes!

4th grade looked at artist Kara Walker, while we discussed what silhouettes are. We talked about how the nature of silhouettes are mysterious because of the lacking detail. I had the students analyze Walker's art and come up their own interpretations of her work.

To make our autumn tree silhouettes, we started by painting a 12x18 piece of paper in a variety of fall colors. I gave little direction at this step other than demonstrating a variety of painting techniques(color mixing, swirls, etc). I also told them to make sure that multiple colors are visible, to avoid them mixing every color together. Although a few students couldn't resist mixing colors to make a single-colored background, but they turned out amazing regardless! Art is all about breaking rules, right!?

The next week, students used oil pastels to add line details to their paintings. Then they used black paint to add their tree silhouettes. I only demonstrated how to paint the trees, but they came up with many great ideas on items to add, like people jumping in a pile of leaves, birds, tire swings, etc. I am always amazed and inspired at my student's innovative ideas!

Lastly, the students had the option to add sequins to their paintings to represent leaves. Students displayed sparse leaves dangling on a branch, swirling leaves in the wind, and a heaping pile of leaves waiting to be jumped in!

These paintings are hands down more beautiful than the glowing skies I've been witnessing on my drives home! My favorite thing about them is that no two paintings are alike even though we used the the exact same colors and subject-matter!

Check out a forrest of these beautiful trees on Artsonia!

1 comment:

Phyl said...

Just gorgeous!! Your photos are great, the artwork is fabulous, and I too have been seeing beautiful skies in the morning and afternoons too. I love the addition of the jewels to the silhouettes.