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If you missed last week's post, I highlighted a "Copy Cat" painting workshop where students spent four days copying the works of four famous artists. Students spent a total of around 3-4 total hours copying one of Vincent Van Gogh's famous sunflower paintings. These paintings were done on a 16 x 20 stretched canvas in acrylic paints with acrylic gel medium added for extra texture.
For a great site for artists biographies for kids, click here.
After sketching out the basic drawing with watered down, yellow acrylic paint, students blocked in colors with their first layer of paint and this was allowed to dry. During the layout stage, students focused on Van Gogh's composition and flower placement, positive/negative space and lines. We encouraged students to sketch and paint what they actually "see", not what they "think" they see.
Students were reminded to look at the picture before each brush stroke. In the second and third layers of paint, acrylic gel medium was added to the paint to help build texture and show brush work--in an effort to mimic oil paints. Besides the art principals mentioned above, this project was great for teaching value, mixing paints and developing painting techniques, especially brush work.
These students were between the ages of 7-12, and the majority of them have taken art classes for two or more years. I think for this age group, the hardest part was focusing on the same thing for such a long period of time. I really challenged them to work in sections and perfect the details. As you can see, for such a young group, they really took my encouragement to heart. I was amazed at their results!