Archive for December, 2007

Grade 1 – Mr. Reynolds

Volunteers – Carrie Bankes, Lori Malinski, Paula Hurtado

Project Synopsis: 

Students learn about the life of the artists and analyze Rousseau’s Jungle Scenes imagining the stories told in the jungle.  They identify the horizon line, vertical lines, and contrasting colors and describe the foreground, middle ground and background and the use of overlapping shapes to create depth.  They sketch leaf shapes; draw landscapes with leaves, flowers and jungle animals and create pastel chalk and cut paper landscapes with hidden animals.



Discuss the life and artistic style of Henri Rousseau.  Recognize that a great artist can stay close to home and be self taught as long as s/he has confidence in his/her talent. 

·       Talk about looking at things around you for inspiration. 

·       Identify concept of depth using foreground, mid ground and background.

·       Students will create a stylized collage using simple shapes and featuring precut, magazine or make-believe animals and plants. 

·       If time allows, class will work together to add large Rousseau-like leaves and a make-believe animal to the classroom jungle.


What you Need:

·       Artist Biography

·       12 x 15 drawing paper (2 per child)

·       Samples of Rousseau’s jungle paintings and samples of practice and finished collage

·       Colored chalk or oil pastels

·       Colorful construction paper and pre-cut animals & leaves

·       Animal shape stencils and rubber stamps

·       Animals and plant reference materials

·       Animals and plant images cut from magazines

·       Scissors

·       Glue stick

·       Thick marker

·       Jungle sounds CD and player

Step 1: Talking

1.     Introduce the life and art of Henri Rousseau.

2.     Give the students some background information on the artist and show print s of Rousseau’s jungle-style paintings.  Point out that he never went to a jungle. 

3.     Discuss how Rousseau used resources around him (books, museums, gardens, etc.) and his imagination to create his paintings. Some things he painted do not really exist in real life. 

4.     Discuss horizon line, foreground, mid ground and background, warm and cool colors, and simple, stylized drawing, and repeating shapes.


Step 2:  Introducing the Project


1.     Give the students paper and marker to boldly practice drawing their jungle scene and imagine a story.  No pencils.  You need only 5-10 minutes for practice picture. 

2.     Use horizon lines to create depth.

3.     Demonstrate the use of different collage materials large, simple shapes to create grass (foreground), flowers (mid ground) and trees (background).

4.     Students may begin by thinking about the sky in the extreme background.  What time of day is it?  Do they need a moon or a sun or stars?

5.     Point out the benefits of repeating a certain flower and/or color to “tie” their picture together.

6.     Have the students add simple animals to their picture or hide them in the background.

7.     When they are satisfied with their “practice” paper let the students recreate their picture on good white drawing paper with a black marker.


Step 3: Doing the Project


1.     Pass out oil pastels or chalk and demonstrate for the students how to use them by layering and blending the colors to create shading and depth while keeping colors clean and bright.

2.     Remind the students to fill all the space with shapes, colors and textures.

3.     They may color the grass, flowers, trees, animals, people, etc.

4.     Last, they can add the grass or ground area and foreground details.

5.     Finally, sign the painting on the front at the bottom right with contrasting color chalk.

6.     If time left, have the kids cut out huge Rousseau-like leaves from green paper for the classroom trees.  

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