Saturday, October 22, 2011

Van Gogh inspired Sunflowers

 The First Grade Students have been busy creating still life paintings based on Van Gogh's Sunflower painting. We started the unit by studying Van Gogh's life, works of art, and painting process. The students really enjoyed this video I found on YouTube: Van Gogh Portraits We then created "Impasto" paint by combining sawdust and tempera paint together into a thick, chunky substance. I mixed the paints to begin with, but as the unit went on I allowed the students to decide if the paint needed more sawdust, or water and allowed them to mix it as needed (a "pinch of sawdust" or a "squirt" of water) -- -- they loved doing this. I set up a sunflower still life in the classroom and we talked about foreground, mid ground, and background and how to make each section stand out, but function together as a whole. Before adding paint the first graders "sketched" their sunflower still life including five flowers. Prior to sketching we talked about the life cycle of a flower and acted out a happy sunflower, as well as a sleeping sunflower and they decided they can look differently. The finishing touches included adding sunflower seeds using a "sandwich" technique: glue, sunflower seeds, glaze coating.

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