I rarely use a lesson I find on-line without tweaking it a bit, but I recently found two still life lessons that I absolutely LOVE just the way they are. One is a bird's eye view of apples modeled after Matisse, which we are doing this week. It was done at Prospect School on Artsonia (here). I think the only thing we did differently was to "paint" the apples with a spoon instead of a brush.
Today I began my lesson playing a game with the class. I hid an apple in my "mystery box" and kids tried to guess what was in the box by asking "yes" or "no" questions. Then we moved the Smartboard to take a look at apple still life paintings by Matisse, Cezanne and Renoir. The final slide showed this bird's eye still life of a plate of apples that the student's used as the visual for their own work.
First, they traced around a foam plate to make their plate. We used the plastic lids to our paint portion cups to trace apples on the plate and to the side of the plate.
Instead of using paintbrushes, I showed the students how we can use other tools to apply tempera paint -- in this case, the back of a plastic spoon. I asked that they swirl the spoon in a circular motion, trying to leave part of each apple white. We let these dry. As you can see above, we had an overflow of drying art and I hung some out in the patio (in the strong wind!!!) to dry. We had a little time at the end of class for me to read the kids an "apple" story. What a great day!!
Next week, students will outline the plate with black crayon and then complete the plate and background with watercolors painting in a shadow for the plate and apples.