Art education, inspiration and encouragement for children and parents in Arlington, VA
Learning from an artist is as easy as learning to see the colors and shapes of their art. However, learning to copy a work of art requires lots of skills like determining size, shape and placement.
It may also require to really notice details and it might mean making decisions about what to edit or leave out.
These are very important skills in thinking to develop as young artists.
While we might describe ourselves as "black, brown or white" the truth is much richer than these simple statements.
Our warm and cool skin tones require mixing a little blue or green along with an orange and yellow to produce the glow and depth of color that we find in our true skin coloration.
Students took the time and patience to blend, mix and smooth out at least four mixed colors. While we might not be able to exactly replicate the tone with a limited oil pastel set, students came up with skin colors that were much more interesting and truthful than the already mixed "peach" or "brown" found in the box.
The very early work of Piet Mondrian shows us his love of trees. The Woods with beech trees is a great example of how trees appear closer to us or farther away based on their size and placement on a flat surface. It's called diminishing perspective.
At the bottom of this article are two worksheets to help with practice of this lesson. One is for working on the computer and one for drawing on paper.
Our task was to understand and demonstrate how art can create the illusion of depth on a flat surface. In order to achieve this we need to understand:
The following worksheet is designed to do on the computer on Word. Just open the word document and click on a tree. Drag the corner handle to enlarge or decrease the size of a tree. Place the larger trees on the bottom lines. Make sure the trees get progressively smaller as they go up the lines on the page. This is a great way to get children to engage in visual thinking interactions on the computer.
The following worksheet is for printing out and drawing tree trunks to practice the principles of diminishing perspective. Simply print out the worksheet. look at the example, follow the directions and draw.
Work in Progress
I was so inspired by this lesson and my own walks in the woods during this beautiful fall of ours, that I decided to make a painting of my own. The children really inspire me with their choice of colors. I'm not yet finished with this painting but I'm having a lot of fun playing. Wolf Kahn used brightly imaginative colors to paint trees. If you haven't already seen his work, it's very uplifting and he is popular in the calendar world, in case you need to brighten up a wall in your home.
Jean Frank Stark
I make art and have taught to children for over 20 years.