I do Monet and Impressionism in grade 4. This is a 'suitable for framing'
parent favorite too.
To begin we discuss impressionism and I show Linnea in Monet's Garden video.
We talk about garden structures, all the man-made parts that go into a
garden like fences, bird baths, arbors, arches, paths, benches, etc.
The fence and gate and path are a must, and everything else is extra.
To begin the project, we cut the man made parts from oak tag paper and fix
them to the paper to act like stencils. In the past we used little bits of
'Ticky Tack' but last year I used the Post It glue that is removable. Just
be sure to wait at least 30 seconds to put the pieces on the background
paper or they won't come off! The stencil cutting and placing usually takes
at least one whole class period.
When all the man made stuff is put in place, we sponge paint around all the
stencils where flowers or grass would go. We also sponge a tree border that
will be in the background. They can make shapes of evergreens (triangles) or
deciduous (sp) tree tops. This also insures that the entire fence will be
sponged around with the paint color for the garden. I use 3 layers of color
and use small cut pieces of sponges. They start with yellow, then green,
then blue for shadow areas, especially in the trees. Then they can do the
sky, first with white, then a tiny bit of blue, leaving some areas white for
cloud shapes if they choose.
The flower painting is done with Q tips. I show pictures from garden
catalogues and Impressionist garden paintings. They can make taller
perennial flowering shrubs using the edge of cut rectangles of cardboard.
They often make flowering vines growing on the arches and fences. We talk
about how flowers grow in the sun, not on the ground for the vines. I
emphasize that it isn't really a painting as much as a dabbing. They can
layer colors to make their flowers look less like colored lollypop blobs
sitting there and more like a planting of flowers. This project usually
takes 3 full classes (of 75 minutes each).
This project is one of the favorites of the kids and the parents!