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First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 22 - Review
Recognize landscape painting and portrait.
Review elements of art: color, line, texture and shape.
Draw eyes and think about placement.
Scrap paper for children to write on.
Slides #4, 5, 8, and 10 in plastic sleeve
Slides #2, 12, 15, and 16 in plastic sleeve
Drawing paper and crayons for each child
Waters, Elizabeth & Annie Harris. Royal Academy of Arts Painting: A young artist's guide. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1993.
Beautiful, large book with very clear format that lends itself to showing the whole class.
It concentrates on the elements of painting and has practical applications to try for each of the
elements it discusses. Color photographs of real-life objects and reproductions of artworks are
outstanding. Text is too complex to read aloud but illustrations are inspiring and instructive.
Tell the children that you are going to play a game with them about which kind of art work they will see. Make sure each child has a piece of scrap paper on which to write some numbers. Say: First, I will show you some paintings, and you will tell me whether or not they are landscape paintings. Ask: Who can tell what a landscape painting is? (a painting of the land, trees, earth, city, river, any scene where nothing---either people, animals, or activities is as important as the land itself)
Say: I will show you four slides, slowly, in a row. I want you to write on your papers the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 with about two fingers'spaces between each one. When I show the slide, if you think what you are looking at is a landscape painting, put a check mark beside the number. If you think it is not a landscape, put a zero beside the number.
Show the children the Rousseau Q'uai d'Ivry, Cezanne's Mt. Sainte Victoire, O'Keeffe's Pink Tulip, and Marilhat's Landscape with a Mosque as 1, 2, 3, and 4. As you show each slide, you might choose to say a few words about the colors in each--for example, you might say of the Rousseau, "Look how the painter made all those dark trees in the background look like silhouettes." When you're sure everyone has made a mark for each painting, ask for a tally and put it on the board. Brainstorm with the children the reasons that the O'Keeffe is not a landscape and the reasons someone might think that it is.
Tell the children that for the next four slides, you want them to tell you whether they are portraits or not. Have someone describe what a portrait is first, then have them write the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 as they did before. This time show them Cassatt's L'enfante a la Robe Bleue, Degas' Little Dancer Fourteen Years Old, Anguissola's Portrait of a Young Noble, and Veronese's
Portrait of Countess...with Daughter, Porzia. Again, as you're showing the slides, take a few
minutes to say something about the colors in each one. And again, when everyone has marked
something on the paper, ask for a show of hands at each number in order to make a tally on the
board. Then brainstorm with them why the Degas is not really a portrait and why someone might
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First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 22 - Review
think it was. Finally, ask: Who can tell me what a self-portrait is? (You should see a lot of hands for this; if not, firm up the definition of self-portrait with the class.
Next, say to the children: We've talked about colors in all of these art works. What are
some of the other elements of art we could talk about? (line, shape, texture, someone might guess
light, but we've not talked about it formally) Guide them in a brief discussion of each by looking
at one or another of the slides they have just seen that lends itself to the particular element you're
discussing; for example, texture would be especially good for the Degas sculpture, shape for the
Marilhat or Cezanne, etc. If you have the book suggested above, use it to illustrate and
supplement your review of the elements as you talk about each one.
Give each child a piece of drawing paper with a simple blank oval you have reproduced (see the one below as example) and crayons for drawing. If you have the book suggested above, show the children pp. 34 and 35 which deals with the subject "Painting People." Tell the children you want them to think about painting portraits and what they would have to look at closely before they began painting. Have them each choose a partner and tell them you want them to make a drawing of just the eyes of the person they are looking at. They will take turns drawing and looking at their partners. First, talk them through the following considerations.
Ask: What will you have to think about when you make the eyes of your partner? (color, shape, lines) What else goes with the eyes? (eyelashes, eyebrows) Do you think the eyes should go right in the middle of the oval face, kind of like an equator, or should they be higher or lower? Help them by drawing an oval on the board and experimenting with placement and saying things like: How many think the eyes should be towards the top? (Show them how that would look on the oval you've drawn.) When they discover that the eyes are placed much lower than they might have thought at first, ask: What else goes in the top part of the oval? (ears, eyebrows, forehead, hair) What about the shape of the eyes? Do your partner's eyes look more like circles, ovals, almonds? Think carefully about just what colors you need for the eyes, for the eyelashes, and for the eyebrows.
If there is time, the children may want to finish their portraits by adding the rest of the
face and head of their partners. When they have finished, have both the subject and the painter
sign their names, one at the top and one at the bottom of the drawings before you hang them in
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First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 23 - Light
Discuss light sources in natural world and in paintings.
Explore the connection between shadows and light sources in paintings.
Slides #1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 15, and 16 from plastic sleeve
Bulla, Clyde Robert. What Makes a Shadow? New York: HarperCollins, 1994.
Color illustrations by June Otani depict shadows in everyday play situations of children. Good for reading aloud.
Goor, Ron & Nancy. Shadows: Here, There, and Everywhere. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1981.
Wonderful black-and-white photographs and filled with clear information in concise statements. The photographs tell the real story. Several examples of shadow-play animals created with hands. Good for reading aloud. This book is first preference to supplement the lesson.
Remind the children that in the last lesson, they identified two different kinds of paintings. Ask: What were the names of the two kinds? (landscape paintings, or landscapes, and portraits) What special kind of portrait did we also talk about? (self-portrait) Why do you think so many artists have painted self-portraits? (Remind them that, when they made their portrait drawings, they needed a partner to observe the way eyes are positioned in people's faces. Artists don't always have a model--someone who will sit and pose for them--but they can always observe themselves in a mirror.
Next, ask the children what elements of art they talked about last time as they reviewed the paintings they had studied before (color, line, shape, and to some extent texture). Say: Those are some of the basic building blocks that artists use to do their work. Another element we haven't really talked about is light. Why do you think light is important to artists? (Accept all reasonable answers.) Then say: Without light, we wouldn't see colors, lines, or any shapes. Did you ever wake up in the middle of the night when it was pitch dark and you couldn't really see what color or shape anything was?
Let the children tell their experiences, and encourage them to realize that, if they were able to see things, there was probably light coming through the window from a streetlight or the moon, or perhaps a night light somewhere nearby. Say: Then the first reason artists use light in their paintings is because we need light in order to see the other elements of art. Another reason is that light makes everything more interesting. Have a few children stand up, and go to them and shine the flashlight on a section of their clothing and ask: Can you see a difference in the color of this shirt (dress, pants, etc.) where the light is shining directly on it compared to the rest of the fabric? Do the same thing with someone's hair, face, hands and let the rest of the children tell you the differences. Say: This means that an artist can paint many different shades of color (you may need to review the meaning of the word) depending upon where the light is coming from, how strong it is, and just what it's shining on.
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First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 23 - Light
Say: Let's take a look at some of the other paintings we've seen before and talk a bit about the light. Show the children the Matisse Interior, Flowers, Parakeets (#1 in the sleeve). Ask : Where is the light coming from in this picture? (window, way in the "back" of the painting) How can you tell? (section of the rug is lighter, brighter where light shines directly on it through the window) Ask: How many shades of red can you see? (at least four, perhaps more)
Show the slide of Rousseau's Quai d'Ivry (#4). Ask: Where do you think the source of light is in this painting? (probably behind a cloud). Ask: How can you tell? (no bright colors, trees are all in silhouette, but sky itself is light) Show them O'Keeffe's Pink Tulip (#8) and ask: Where is the source of light? (You can't tell; everything looks filled with light, almost as though
you could see the sun itself in the painting.)
Next, show them Marilhat's Landscape With a Mosque and ask: What time of day to you think it is in this painting? (early morning or late in the day, towards evening) How can you tell? (The sky is very light near the horizon; colors are not very bright; there are deep shadows in the "front" of the painting.)
Brainstorm with the children about light and shadow in nature. You might remind them about the Stevenson poem they studied in September that begins, "I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me," and invite them to join in with any lines they remember as you recite the poem. Then ask them: What can you tell us about the sun and shadows when you're outside? Using the flashlight and a small object such as a paper puppet, small statue, or even a pencil, demonstrate the difference between the length of shadows when the light source is directly overhead, when it is slightly above, slightly below, in front of, and directly behind the object. (The classroom should be as dark as possible for the demonstration, so lights should be out and shades pulled if possible.)
Show the children the Sofonisba Portrait of a Young Noble (#15). Ask: Are there any shadows in this painting? Where? (The figure and his hand and arm cast a shadow to his right.) What does that tell us about where the light is coming from? (to the left of the young boy) How else could you tell? (If no one knows, show them that the left side of the boy's face is much lighter and brighter than the other side, which is in shadow. Show the children with the flashlight how that happens.)
Lastly, show the children the Veronese portrait of the Countess...and her Daughter Porzia (#16). Ask: Where do you think the light is coming from in this portrait? (the side that the little girl is on). How can you tell? (Have the children look at the two sleeves of the mother and see how different they are. The texture of the one the light is shining on directly looks very shiny and its color several shades lighter, while the other looks dull and darker. The little girl's dress is very shiny, indicating that light is shining directly on it.) Do you see any shadows? (yes) Where are they? (on the side away from the light)
Tell the children you want them to keep their eyes open to observe shadows when they are playing outside or walking to and from school so they can report in the next class what else they have observed about the connection between the weather, the time of day, and the size and position of shadows.
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First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 24 - Still Life
Look at some traditional still life paintings.
Arrive at a definition of still life.
Pictures in books and magazines of traditional still life paintings
Slide of Isaac Soreau's Still Life
Classroom size map of the world or of Europe
Reproductions of still life paintings are easy to find in books and magazines; if you want
examples by artists whose works we've looked at before, you will find good examples in the Van
Gogh and Georgia O'Keeffe books by Venezia (part of Getting to Know the World's Greatest
Artists Series published by Children's Press) that we've recommended in previous lessons. The
O'Keeffe book is particularly good, because there are such striking illustrations of her paintings
of nontraditional subjects for still lifes such as animal skulls and greatly enlarged individual
shells and flowers. Similarly, the Marie Sellier Cézanne from A to Z that we recommended
previously (New York: Peter Bedricks, 1996) contains two pages of text and illustrations about
the artist's abiding fascination with painting apples. Sellier's presentation of the subject also
beautifully ties together the subject of still life paintings with the last lesson the children had
about portrayal of light in paintings.
Start today's lesson by having the children report to you what observations about shadows they have made since you last met. Try to draw some conclusions with them about the connection between the season, the weather, time of day, and the size and position of shadows. Say: From now on, I want you to pay close attention to the way artists use light and shadow in their paintings, just the way we have talked about the elements of color, line, shape, and texture.
Show the children the pictures you have collected of still life paintings, and tell them that these kinds of paintings are neither landscapes nor portraits, but still life paintings. Tell them you want to make a list on the board of the things that could be the subject of still life paintings so that they can arrive at a definition of a still life.
As you show the illustrations to the children from magazines or books, take the opportunity to discuss elements of the particular paintings that are especially notable, whether that be color, line, shape, texture, or light.
Depending on the particular examples you have chosen, your list on the board will
probably include fruits, flowers, vegetables, bowls and vases, books, kitchen utensils of copper
or other metals that reflect light in interesting ways, and/or musical instruments. (If there are any
animals in the still lifes you have chosen, they are likely to be stuffed or ready to be cooked. The
point is that the subjects of still lifes are inanimate objects, but the word is too difficult for first
graders, so you could point out that any living things such as fruit or flowers are no longer living
and growing in their natural setting.) Ask the children questions such as: Are the flowers growing
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First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 24 - Still Life
in a pot or outside in earth? Are the vegetables growing in a garden? Next, point to the collection of objects in any particular painting, and ask: Do we usually find these particular things together? Since the answer to all these questions is negative, ask: Why do you think they are together in this painting? Combining the list of subjects and these questions, brainstorm with the children for a definition of a still life. They should be able to come up with something that includes the various categories of things you have listed plus the idea that the reason that those particular things are combined is that the painter decided they were an interesting combination and put them in a particular arrangement that was pleasing to him or her. At this point, you might want to firm up the definition by showing the children some other illustrations from the books you have been using that are not still lifes and ask the children whether they are or are not still lifes and, if not, why not. When you feel the children are sure about this, move on.
Ask: Why do you think so many artists liked to paint still lifes? Remind them about the problem of finding models for portraits, and ask: What problems would painters have making landscapes? (bad weather, changing light, changing seasons) Take the opportunity to review some of the observations they made about their shadows, so that they see how difficult it is to paint landscapes when things are always changing and growing. Ask: Are the objects in still life paintings things most ordinary people would have in their houses? (yes, recall food, kitchen utensils, bowls, etc.) Say: So, the only thing the painter has to do is arrange them in a way that is pleasing and figure out how best to light them, and then they will stay just that way for as long as it takes to paint the picture.
Show the children the slide of Isaac Soreau's Still Life. Tell them it was painted about three hundred fifty years ago by a painter named Isaac Soreau (so RO) who lived in the northwestern part of the continent of Europe (have someone locate the area on the map) in a country where the people loved painting and loved flowers, especially tulips. Say: Let's make another list on the board of the things that Soreau arranged in his still life. You tell me the names of the things, and I'll write them on the board. The list might include flowers, tulips, red cherries, white grapes, purple grapes, a little round bowl with blackberries or black raspberries, a round basket for the grapes, plus seed pods, leaves, and other plant materials that are hard to identify. Ask: What do you think the name of this painting is? (Still Life) Do you think it qualifies as a still life? (yes)
Ask: What can you tell me about the light in Soreau's still life painting? (very dim, things in the background are so dark, they blend into the background) What kinds of lines do you see--straight, zigzag, or curved? (curved) What shape do you see the most of in the painting? (circles--grapes, cherries, bowl, basket, berries in bowl) Do you feel as though you'd really like to taste the grapes and smell the flowers? Do you like this painting? Why or why not?
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First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 25 - Still Life (continued)
Review the definition of still life.
Compare a twentieth-century still life with one painted in the 17th century.
Classroom size world map or map of Europe
Slide of Soreau's Still Life
Slide of Redon's Peonies
Slide of Graham's Still Life with Fruit and Blue and White Pitcher
Background for Teacher
Odilon Redon, known primarily for his visionary, symbolist paintings and graphic works, lived from 1840-1916. His father, though French, had come to the United States, amassed a fortune in Louisiana, and married a Creole woman. Shortly before Odilon was born, the family returned to France, to the city of Bordeaux in the southwest, which is where the painter grew up. Most of the rest of his life was spent in Paris. His ties to the United States were reinforced by his participation in the controversial Armory Show of 1913 in New York and by a series of works he did inspired by the tales of Edgar Allan Poe. At the age of 40, Redon met and married a Creole woman named Camille Falte who was born on a French island near Madagascar. They had two sons, and it was Camille who first understood and encouraged her husband's work and managed any and all business for him.
John D. Graham was born in 1881 in Kiev and died in London in 1961. He came to the
United States as a fairly young man, studied with the American painter John Sloan, and became a
United States citizen in 1920. His first one-man show was held here in Baltimore in 1926.
Show the children the slide of Soreau's Still Life and ask: Who remembers what kind of a painting this is? (still life) How can you tell? What kinds of things does an artist put in a still life? (fruit, flowers, bowls, bottles, musical instruments, books, kitchen utensils) What does the artist do with the things chosen to be in the still life? (arranges them in pretty bowls, bottles, other containers on a table or other flat surface) Why is it so hard to identify the leaf at the back of this painting? (Soreau chose a really dark background, so objects in the back seem to melt right into the background.)
Show the children the slide of the Redon still life and tell them it was painted by a French artist nearly one hundred years ago. (Have someone locate France and the continent of Europe on the world map.) Ask: What about the background of this painting? (much lighter) Is this a still life? (yes) What are the things the Redon used in his still life that we have seen in other still life paintings? (flowers and pitcher or vase) What can you tell me about the colors in this still life? Are they important? (yes)
Tell the children to think back to the beginning of the school year when they first learned about warm and cool, primary and secondary colors. Ask: Which kinds of colors did Redon use in his still life? (mostly the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue with a bit of secondary: orange and some green; a mixture of warm and cool colors, let the children identify which are which)
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First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 25 - Still Life (continued)
What do you think Redon wanted us to see most of all? (the three red flowers) Tell the children
the name of the painting is Peonies, which is the name of the red flower. What else do you think Redon wants us to be sure and notice in this painting? (the container that's holding the flowers)
What did the painter do to make us notice the pitcher the flowers are in? (made it very, very white which stands out against a background that has other colors blended in) What about the shape of the pitcher? (very rounded, lots of curved lines)
Show the children the Donald Graham still life. Tell them Graham was born in Russia (locate on map) but became an American citizen, so we think of him as an American painter. They may be interested to know that the first one-man exhibition of paintings Graham had was held in Baltimore. (Help them to understand what an exhibition is, and that a one-person show means only that particular artist's works are shown, as opposed to a group show.)
Ask the children whether they think this is a still life? (yes) Why? What things do they see that they would expect to see in a still life? (pitcher, fruit, apples, pear, bananas, bottle) Are there any things they would not expect to see? (saw, mirror) What about the colors? What color are the apples? What do you think you see in the mirror? (the reflection of part of the face and hair of a person and part of the blue and white pitcher) What do you think is diagonally behind the pitcher and the bottle? (saw) What is a saw doing in this painting? (perhaps to cut the fruit as a joke or just to surprise us) Have you ever seen a saw with a blue blade? (Sometimes, the reflection from a metal saw blade could have a blue appearance, but not this blue!) What do you think about how the objects in the still life are arranged by the artist? (pretty crowded, unexpected arrangement, things look as though they might fall down or out of the picture) Say: There's at least one other surprise in this painting, and it's also something blue and unexpected. Who can guess what that is? (The children may notice any number of unusual things, but the most obvious one is the rippling blue water in the right-hand background.) Ask: How could that really be water? (seen through a window, in the artist's imagination, accept any reasonable ideas)
Finally, ask the children whether they like the painting. Why or why not?