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ENCAUSTIC LETTERS & NUMBERS Middle School.

Objective

Students are introduced to concepts in the work of Jasper Johns. They explore his way of working and learn about the ancient technique of encaustic painting.

Materials

To complete this lesson, students will need 2 pieces of 4 x 6" (10 x 15 cm) cardboard, broken pieces of wax crayons, 6" (15 cm) alphabet and number stencils, cotton swabs on sticks, and electric crayon melters.

Safety Note

The room must be well ventilated, and students must be reminded about the dangers of hot wax.

Introduction

Show students several artworks by Jasper Johns, including his encaustic series of alphabets and numbers (Grey Alphabets, Device Circle, Numbers in Color). Note Johns' attention to repetition and application of the encaustic technique.

Procedure

Ask students to choose either two of their initials or two numbers from their birthday. Ask them to select their first letter or number and three colors from the broken pieces of wax crayons. Place the crayon pieces into separate sections on the crayon melter and allow time for the wax to melt. Lay the stencil on top of the piece of cardboard. Using a different cotton swab for each color, dab the melted wax inside the stencil area. This completes the inside of the stencil. Remove the stencil and use a different three-color scheme to completely cover the background. Repeat the same process for the second letter or number. When the two pieces are finished, mount them side-by-side. Display the work of the entire class by placing one set next to the other to create a large-scale encaustic work.

Evaluation

Observe the patterns and use of color schemes. Discuss the difference between encaustic painting and watercolor. Consider why a well-known artist would use stencils to create a work of art.

ClipCard submitted Dianne Turner, a professor of art education at California State University in Bakersfield, California.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Davis Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Turner, Dianne
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2001
Words:307
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