"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I acknowledge, with deep respect, that I am gathered on Treaty 7 territory. I acknowledge the many First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations. I respect the histories, languages and cultures all the Indigenous peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our community.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Winter White Landscape Paintings

I love winter themed art projects, especially landscape ones. 
There's nothing quite like a landscape covered in freshly fallen snow.
This Grade 7 project uses tempera paint and charcoal. It's a great lesson for teaching and/or reviewing parts of a landscape: background, foreground and middle ground,
as well as colour theory and colour mixing.
I talk to the students about "tints" (any colour plus white; also known as a pastel) and we talk about all the different 'colours' of white we can see in the winter. If there's snow where you are it's great to go outside and actually observe the 'colour' of snow. If not, (or if it's too cold), it's good to show a slideshow of inter photos. In terms of snow, it isn't simply one colour of basic white: it has many variations, depending on the light and time of day.

Image Source

We use cool tempera colours for the white tints: blues and purples plus white.
Update: for those interested, we used "Pro Art Liquid Tempera Paint"- it's a high quality, opaque tempera- I love it. Also used some Sargent's as well.

We spent half a class in the computer lab searching for winter landscape photos. If the kids have their own digital cameras or the school has them available for students to use, and there's snow where you live, it would be great if the kids could take their own original photos and
print those out for this project.

As it were, we used the computer lab. We used Google Images, selecting only large size images (under Search Tools), for best quality when printing. They had to look for landscapes that included a background, middle and foreground. Print these off full size in black and white. They drew simplified versions of these photos onto heavy white paper. Students could add or subtract from their photo reference as needed- the photo was more of a rough guideline to help them get started.

Once the drawing was finished and looked good, it was time for painting. Students chose blues or purples and mixed it with loads of white for a variety of pale tints. At this stage, the kids didn't need to worry about small details (fences, trees, etc). They just needed to get down the main areas of colour. Essentially just paint the snowy areas, sky and any cast shadows.The finer or smaller details would be added later with charcoal pencils. 

Let the painting dry for the next class.

The next class, the kids used charcoal pencils (we used the brand "General's Charcoal Pencils in 2B) to add the details and soft outlines to their paintings. Blend out the charcoal with your finger to make it nice and soft and blended. Charcoal works brilliantly on top of tempera paint- it has just the right amount of matte 'grip' needed to hold the charcoal. The contrast between the rich black charcoal and pale tints is quite striking.

Some chose to touch up their painting at this stage as well.

Grade 7 artwork- ta da!

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