Third graders are wrapping up some beautiful fall paintings this week, and they learned a thing or two along the way about colors, shapes, and abstraction. We looked at some examples of realistic and abstract still lifes, and discussed the different intentions of the artists. The realistic art was focused on using color and value to create the most recognizable images, while abstract artists used real ideas but changed the lines and colors to more imaginary choices. Different kids had different preferences for which style was the favorite, and everyone was correct in their opinion.
We started with tracing the organically shaped leaves, and drawing a geometric grid over the top, creating contrast. Next, we painted all the background, or negative, spaces with neutrals. For the interior of the leaf shapes, or positive shapes, students were given primary colors and mini color wheels to mix their own secondary and intermediate colors. They really had fun experimenting and mixing.
We tried a few different techniques to add emphasis to the leaf shapes at the end - some kids used dark, shiny ebony pencils to create a thick outline, and others traced the contours with leftover primary paint. I think they really capture the season.