Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,728,043 articles and books

Impressive impressionists.

Representation of reality becomes a focus of interest of children around the age of ten. They strive in their art to achieve realism and they grow increasingly frustrated frus·trate  
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart:
 as their eyes can see better than their hands can work. It's important at this stage of development to give children tools and techniques that will enable them to break out from their schema's. That's why teaching them about impressionistic im·pres·sion·is·tic  
1. Of, relating to, or practicing impressionism.

2. Of, relating to, or predicated on impression as opposed to reason or fact: impressionistic memories of early childhood.
 painting is important at this age level. At the same time, they learn about one of the most important periods of art history. The Impressionists are considered to be the fathers of Modern art. They revolutionized the representation of color not of the white race; - commonly meaning, esp. in the United States, of negro blood, pure or mixed.

See also: Color
, and they painted not what they knew but what their eyes perceived.

The Impressionists were mainly interested in landscape painting. They were intrigued by the momentary changes in the color of the sky at different times of day and the way complementary colors See under Color.

See also: Complementary
 affected each other when placed side by side. The Impressionists, especially Monet, were also fascinated with the reflection of light on water. For this reason, the first lesson in our four-part unit was a painting of reflections on water.

Reflections on Water

The students painted a landscape on the top half of an 18 x 24" (46 x 61 cm) light blue construction paper, onto which they had glued a darker shade of blue paper on the bottom half to represent water. As soon as they painted a small area of their landscapes, they folded their papers along the horizontal line (Descriptive Geometry & Drawing) a constructive line, either drawn or imagined, which passes through the point of sight, and is the chief line in the projection upon which all verticals are fixed, and upon which all vanishing points are found.

See also: Horizontal
 where the darker blue paper started. Their reflections were essentially a monoprint of the paintings on the top half of their papers. Because the monoprint tends to be a fuzzier image than the painting, the reflections seemed almost real. The ripples of water and the blurry effect of mountains, trees and sky were easily achieved.

The Colors of the Sky

The second lesson was motivated by a short film, Sky. The time-lapse photography of the dramatic landscape of the Canadian Rockies The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. The southern end in Alberta and British Columbia borders Idaho and Montana of the USA. The northern end is at the Liard Plain in British Columbia.  showed a day from sunrise to sunset in a matter of fourteen minutes. The students understood that without the sun, without light, there are no colors, and the colors of the sky are very different at different times of the day. After the film, I showed the students some techniques of blending pastels and going from light to dark. It's important to use charcoal paper that has a tooth to hold the chalk colors. Good quality colored chalk is also essential.

Impressionist Techniques

Before the third lesson, the students watched a movie about the life and work of Monet in their classrooms. The librarian read them two books: Linnea in Monet's Garden and A Weekend with Renoir.

When they came to the art room, I showed them slides and reproductions of paintings by Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Degas Degas
To release and vent gases. New building materials often give off gases and odors and the air should be well circulated to remove them.

Mentioned in: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
, Pissarro and Seurat. They received a hand out that explained Impressionism impressionism, in painting
impressionism, in painting, late-19th-century French school that was generally characterized by the attempt to depict transitory visual impressions, often painted directly from nature, and by the use of pure, broken color to
 and color theory This article is about the musical alter ego of Brian Hazard; for the theory of color, see color theory

Color Theory is the musical alter ego of American singer-keyboardist-songwriter Brian Hazard.
. We reviewed the color wheel, complementary colors, tints and shades
“Tint” redirects here. For other uses, see tint (disambiguation)
In color theory, a tint is the mixture of a color with white (also called a pastel color) , and a shade is the mixture of a color with black.
, and saturation and intensity of color. I demonstrated the Impressionist techniques of using a short brush-stroke and complementary colors side by side.

Color Mixing

I explained color mixing by using primary colors those developed from the solar beam by the prism, viz., red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, which are reduced by some authors to three, - red, green, and violet-blue. These three are sometimes called fundamental colors.
See under Color.

See also: Color Primary
 side by side, for example, yellow and blue dots mixing in the viewer's eye into green. One student exclaimed, "We mix colors the same way on the computer!" This really showed the class how complex and scientific the investigations of color by the Impressionists were.

After practicing color mixing and short brush strokes Brush Strokes was an Esmonde and Larbey sitcom set in South London and depicting the (mostly) amorous adventures of a good-looking, wisecracking house painter, Jacko (Karl Howman). , the students painted landscapes based on Monet and Renoir reproductions. They took special care to observe the direction of the strokes: how the artist followed the form of objects and the shape of clouds by changing the directions of their brush strokes.

Painting Outside the Art Room

Now knowledgeable about the Impressionists, their significance in art history and their painting techniques and styles, the students were ready to paint outside the art room.

The park in front of City Hall provided an ideal setting: a pond with reflections of foliage; stone bridges, beautiful trees and shrubs.

I placed a picnic table A picnic table (or sometimes a picnic bench) is a modified table with benches expressly for the purpose of eating a meal outdoors (picnicking). In the past, picnic tables were typically made of wood, but modern tables can be made out of anything from recycled plastic to  by the edge of the pond with eighty ice cube trays in a plastic food storage bag, twelve colors of acrylic paint in each tray, heavy watercolor taped onto cardboard, 14 x 20" (36 x 51 cm); viewfinders, 8 x 10" (20 x 25 cm); cardboard with a 4 x 6" (10 x 15 cm) rectangle cut out from the middle, brushes (water would thin their paints too much), and garbage bags on which to sit.

The Outdoor Experience

I set up my easel and started a sketch. I spread out a tarp, so when the students arrived, they sat there for my demonstration.

They all remembered Monet, painting by the ocean on a freezing, stormy morning, when his easel was blown into the water by the wind. I explained that the viewfinder The preview window on a camera that is used to frame, focus and take the picture. On analog cameras, the viewfinder is an eye-sized window that must be pressed against the face. Point-and-shoot digital cameras use small LCD screens that are viewed several inches from the eyes.  would be their most important tool and that it would show them what to paint. They were to match the real and many varieties of color in the sky, trees and water.

Choosing Places to Paint

My directions were specific and to the point. The students were enthused and collected their supplies. They chose places to paint, sitting in the grass or standing on the bridge overlooking the pond.

The finished paintings were hung to dry on a laundry rope, stretched between trees. After everyone was gone,I made sure there was nothing left behind,packed up supplies and collected all the paintings.

Preparation is Important

It is definitely not an easy undertaking to bring ninety children outside to paint, but it is an experience they will never forget. I recommend that the teacher in charge seek help: student teachers, classroom teachers, parent volunteers are all available when sought out.

The preparation of the students and the supplies is also essential. The location of a good site and a sunny day are most important. Taking all these factors into consideration, the project is sure to be a success, as we could judge from the work of our students. They were truly impressive Impressionists, if only for one day.

Susan Varga is an art specialist at Horace Mann Elementary School Horace Mann Elementary School may refer to:
  • Horace Mann Elementary School (Cherry Hill, New Jersey)
  • Horace Mann Elementary School (Oak Park, Illinois)
  • Horace Mann Elementary School (San Jose, California)
  • Horace Mann Elementary School (Tacoma, Washington)
 in Newton, Massachusetts The City of Newton in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, is an important residential suburb of Boston, which abuts it on the east. According to the 2000 census, the population of the Newton was 83,829, making it the tenth largest city in the state. .
COPYRIGHT 1995 Davis Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:elementary school art lesson
Author:Varga, Susan
Publication:School Arts
Date:Mar 1, 1995
Previous Article:Handbuilt Clay Sculpture.
Next Article:A landscape of a painting.

Related Articles
Skyline impressions.
Art Partners.
Cezanne inspires lively landscapes.
Celebrating everyday life.
Feeling inspired by Monet.
Large Scale Impressions.
Monet and the Science of Light: I chose Monet, the great Impressionist painter, to tie in with the science unit on light and to demonstrate the...

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters