Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Home – Painting #4 of 4

One aspect of this art workshop that I am really enjoying is the fact that the students have to design their own image for the canvas. In most of my other classes I design the image for the painting, mix all the paints and layout the brush stroke techniques that will be used. The students of The Montessori House of Children are older than most of my other students and therefore I wanted to include them in the designing process. This approach is working very well.

The first part of Thursday’s class was dedicated to working with the students until their designs were approved. The students would show me the design that they had created and I would offer minor suggestions meant to improve on their work. For example, one group was designing an image of a school, with a bus in the foreground. My simple suggestion to them was to eliminate the windows in the schoolbus. “We need to create very simple elements in our designs. The interest of our design will be captured by how we apply our brushstrokes to each of these elements.”

Soon, the students began to sketch their designs onto the canvas…

When all four designs had been sketched out, the painting instructions were taught to the students. Each of the paintings that have been created in this workshop have been created using different brush stroke techniques. The first painting focussed on applying the paint as quickly as possible – we only had one afternoon to complete this painting so the paint had to applied with much haste. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to focus on techniques for this class.

The second workshop I had made some major adjustments to my teaching techniques to find the time needed to explore these ideas. The second painting focussed on creating a design based on a grid system.

The third painting focussed on what I call ‘contour’ painting. The students had to outline a shape on the canvas with a dark paint colour and then – using a lighter colour – continue to outline this shape – working towards the middle of the shape – until it was filled in.

This fourth painting is teaching the students about pointillism. I am teaching the students to choose a colour for whatever object they are painting and then to apply this colour using short unjoined brush strokes – filling up about half of the space of the object. Then the students must use a darker tone of the same colour to fill in about 30% of the remaining white space of the object. Once this is done and the paints have dried the students use the same colour that they started with and add more ‘dotted’ brush strokes until the object is complete.

This painting will be completed next Thursday… I think it’s going to be great!


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