Saturday, December 13, 2014

A 'fauve-rite' art project: the Fauve Fauves revisited!

The images in this post mostly all first appeared on this blog about four years ago.  After the charcoal images of  my last post, and the white/gray world outside (the sky had a patch of blue for like three minutes this morning - and then was white/gray again), I felt it was time for some color.  Below, by the way, is the way it looks outside.  While the snow is not too deep (we got about 5"), the heavy wet snow is clinging to every tree, and it's really quite spectacular, though devoid of color. 

Anyhow, back to the color!
My classroom that year was decorated based on the theme "Wild about Art'.   
Here's how my bulletin board and door were decorated. 
 
The theme came about because my son had just returned from an internship and travel in South Africa.  My son had concluded his trip with a safari, and came back with incredible photos, such as the one below. A couple of other bloggers had hung 'wild' bulletin boards and I was doubly inspired.  Here is one of my son's safari photos.   
My 3rd grade students had been learning about Matisse, and the fauves, and learned that the word 'fauve' meant 'wild beast.  The connection seemed perfect to me.   So my students practiced drawing African animals, using a variety of resources (photos in books & magazines, a slide-show of my son's photos, plus some drawing books in the classroom).  After a bunch of sketching and practicing, each student selected an animal for their 'fauve fauve' (in other words, a wild beast painted like a fauve!). 
 On a piece of 16"x20" white paper, students drew a frame of about 1-1/2".  Inside the frame they drew their selected animal.  The drawing was done with a piece of yellow chalkboard chalk; we did this for two reasons - first, to encourage large drawings, and second, so that the line drawing would easily disappear when painted.  The animals were drawn large to fill the space, and basic landscape features were added as desired. 
 All negative space was be painted, as well as the animal.  All painting was done with vibrant colors of tempera, and many animals were filled with brightly colored patterns in homage to the work of my favorite artist, Henri Matisse.  When the paintings were dry, students used animal print tissue paper that I had cut into strips to decorate the frame.  The tissue paper was adhered using a brush and liquid starch.  Above and below are bulletin boards showing some of the completed work.

By the way, the work shown is all that of 3rd graders.  On the bulletin board in the photo below, the sign says '2nd grade'.  I corrected the sign after I had taken the photo, and before the kids saw the bulletin board!
 I know this month everyone else is posting winter and holiday lessons.  But I thought this would be a fun change.  I hope you enjoy this cheerful escape from snowy trees! 

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