Sunday, October 24, 2010


This week the kids will be creating a seascape with a background, middle ground and foreground.  Placement and size of objects glued in the 3 areas of the painting will create the illusion of space.  This is a Calif. 3rd grade Content Standard.  In as much as our school is only a few blocks from the ocean, it is a perfect standard for us!!
Our Process:
1. Since I only have the class for 50 minutes and that doesn't allow for drying time before gluing the collage pieces, I had the children use a thin tempera to paint the base of their sea last week so that it would be dry.  This lesson provides several opportunities for layering of paint.

2. This week they are starting by laying in a watercolor wash for the sky and adding another layer of color for the foreground of the sea.  In class we have visually scanned several seascapes by Winslow Homer and noticed the variation in color of his water as well as a painting called Blue Rhythm by Robert Gause (1991). Last week the class worked on using line and color to give the appearance of movement and rhythm in their art.  This will be an opportunity to put that learning to use in a landscape instead of an abstract. 

3.While those layers dry, kids will use crayon, oil pastel or markers (their choice, as I am a BIG proponent of giving kids opportunities to make decisions) to draw the objects for their foreground and background, varying the size.  I made a SmartBoard page where children could place objects on an existing landscape manipulating the size of the objects and how far away they were from the viewer.  I think that the National Gallery of Art has an interactive activity like this, too.

4. They will cut their objects out and hopefully the sea will be dry enough for them to glue them on.  (I am taking my hairdryer just in case, so I can dry their work!!)

5. The last step is to paint a few accent lines and whitecaps to give motion to the water.  I am going to have them use white acrylic for the whitecaps.

There are plentiful Homer paintings on the website for the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. (see link).    I also found a great photo of a seascape (lighthouse and all!!) in the Travel section of our local newspaper.  We'll used it as a springboard for brainstorming ideas of things you might see looking out to sea:)

3rd Grade California Content Standards 1.3 and 2.3

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to see the results of this. i think your students will love that they are making something so realistic.