Art is Beautiful

In the last week of practicum this year I had the amazing opportunity to take up my faculty advisor on an offer  she had made for her to come in and do an art workshop with my grade 4 class. Andrea is an amazingly talented woman who in addition to being a phenomenal faculty advisor, teaches at a local university and travels to schools around the province running art workshops! It truly was an amazing honour for me to have her come in and work with me and my students in the classroom.

The project she had chosen for us was a water-colour painting workshop inspired by the work of Romero Britto (http://www.britto.com/front/index). The process is fun, simple and enables all students to create something beautiful and that they are proud of. The students and I learned so much through the creative process.

Many thanks to Andrea, for without you this project would not have happened!

Time: 4 -6 hours

Grade Level: The beauty of this project is that with a few adjustments it can be done with students from grade 1 – 12.

Possible curriculum connections: Art, Science – light and the colour spectrum, Math – Patterning

Materials:

Food colouring – Red, Blue, Yellow and Pink (It’s bright, cheap and washable! Every teachers dream art medium!)

Paint brushes of assorted sizes

Water colour paper (Cut into squares 28 x 28 cm)

Paper towels

Large selection of close up pictures of flowers

Water  in tubs at each station for washing brushes

Process:

  • Lay out all the images on the floor and introduce students to the idea that one of the things artists love to paint are flowers.
  • Have students pick a flower and examine it with their eyes and trace the outline of the image.
  • Using only red food colouring students paint the outline of their flower making sure that the image touches all four sides of the paper. If the student has chosen a skinny flower the outline may then only touch 3 sides of the paper. (Reassure students that the outline disappears in the final product so they can keep painting until they have the outline they desire).
  • Discuss with students what colours are made when you mix: red with yellow  and red with blue.
  • Students then pick either yellow or blue as their second colour. Students should work with the two colours to create different shades of oranges and purples and paint the inside of their flower. The colours created need not be the same as the ones in the picture they used to base their outline on.  *The pink is used to brighten the shades of purple*
  •  There is no need for students to add details here as the details will come in the last two steps of the creation process.
  • It is important to stress that students wash and dry their brushes after every time they dip their paint brush into the paint. This avoids polluting  and diluting the colours and helps to keep them bright and vibrant.
  • Using a colour wheel students pick a complimentary or analogous colour for their background that will help make their flower pop off the page.
  • Once the paintings are dry outline examine the doodles in Romero Brittos work and discuss the types of doodles he uses, the density of the doodles and how he arranges them in his paintings.
  • Students use a large permanent marker to outline their flower.
  • Then they proceed doodle on their flower. Encourage them to use the same doodle in each partition of the flower.
  • Voila! You should have a beautiful watercolour flower inspired by the work of Romero Britto!
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