Saturday, October 16, 2010

Here come the fauves!

If you've been reading my blog, you know Henri Matisse is the "Artist of the Month" in my classroom. While some grade levels (2&4) are focusing on the still life, there's other things going on as well during this month of Matisse.

We've taken a decidedly different approach in the 3rd grade. They have been studying South Africa in their classroom, and of course my son visited South Africa during the summer, so some of his safari photos have come in handy. I've been using his photos when the technology cooperates, and when it doesn't, I've been projecting other images of these animals as drawing reference (since I can't bring real zebras, giraffes, and leopards) into the classroom. The kids are looking carefully, noticing the shapes and proportions, and doing practice sketches. On Monday we'll finish drawing practice with rhinos, cheetahs, and elephants.

Here's how we're doing so far:

What does all this have to do with Matisse? I know it may be a reach, but these animals are all "wild beasts" and Matisse went through a period as a fauve, and of course FAUVE means wild beast! Each student will eventually pick one animal from their drawings, to be interpreted in a painting. We are striving for authenticity in our representation of these animals, because we intend to get REALLY creative with color, painting our beasts like fauves! So I expect in a week or two I'll be posting pictures of pink and purple striped zebras, cheetas in green with orange spots, blue and red giraffes, and more.


  1. I like how you project on your blinds very clever! THen you can have the board for writing and drawing! Love this project! I don't think it's a stretch with the color that they're going to do they'll totally capture the spirit or find their inner fauve. Hey and when they're acting up you can call them your little Fauves and they'll know what you mean:)

  2. These are great sketches. I love the knobby knees on that first giraffe -- looks like the kids were really observing details!! Can't wait to see the final renditions.