This was day one of a two-day lesson. We started by viewing some of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings done in the south of France from 1888 - 1890. Specifically, I showed 3 self portraits (including one with his bandaged ear) and asked the classes what they already knew about Van Gogh. That kicked off the discussion about his difficult temperament and troubled life. I showed "The Yellow House" and his "Bedroom" paintings and told the story about when Paul Gauguin came to stay and paint with Vincent (and their troubles).
That led into where they painted in the studio on the bottom floor of the yellow house and the painting, "Basket With Six Oranges."
brush strokes the artist used and the direction of the little lines. Much to my delight, there were students in each class who also noticed the shading and highlights (we did a LOT of work with this the last 2 years).
Then we launched into the project by drawing the vertical and diagonal lines to create the walls and tables.
The next step was to draw first verticals and then curved horizontal lines (using crayons) to mimic the look of a real woven basket. I had the kids cut a slit along the bottom curve of their oval shape so that we can slide the fruit in there next week. This will help with overlapping and the look of 3-dimension.
We saved the background for the end of class because we were using chalk pastels (ie. MESSY). Surprisingly, I didn't have one child complain about the mess. I consider that artistic progress -- when I started doing this program 5 years ago, kids were frequently hung up on the not wanting dirty hands!!! Step one was to use pale sidewalk chalk to lay on a light first layer and smear it with their fingers.
During the next lesson, students will be making their fruit with oil pastels and putting them in place in and around their baskets. I'll be sure to post some of the finished projects next week:))