Art Lesson Idea
Monochromatic (One Colour) Artwork
The lesson in a Nutshell:
Students to explore their very own Cubist Blue Period 🙂
– to explore the possibilities and gain an understanding of using one color to create an artwork.
– to use tints and shades of blue to emulate the work of Picasso’s Blue Period
– rah, rah, bloody rah! Let’s explore some Art!
Possible Lesson Sequence:
1. Display cubist works of Braque, Picasso & any other Cubists you know. Have the students discuss their thoughts on the works.
The Drawing Phase:
2. Use yellow chalk (I find it paints under easily) to draw an ‘imagined’ cubist fruit bowl on a large sheet of art paper. No curved lines are to be used.
I find I have had ‘better’ results by demonstrating the drawing of the fruit bowl and having students follow along.
- Draw the bowl first. Place it slightly above the bottom edge of the paper. Leave the top edge of the bowl off for now.
- Encourage the students to add different-sized fruit to the bowl. Have them place the fruits in different positions to you. Try pear, apple, grapes that hang over the side of the bowl, bananas, strawberries with the leaves still on, a pineapple at the back perhaps, etc.
- Whilst drawing the fruit discuss ‘filling the space’ i.e. making the bowl large enough to be the central focus of the artwork.
- Have the students experiment with having their drawing hand touch the page. What effect does this have on the lines produced? I find it allows for a lot more freedom of movement.
- Create a line to be the top of the fruit bowl. Draw it in such a way so it appears the grapes are hanging out of the bowl. Where does this line need to start and stop to achieve this effect?
- Add some diagonal lines to the background to create geometric shapes.
Learning About Color:
3. With only black, white & blue on the palette demonstrate mixing tints (a color mixed with white) and shades (a color mixed with black). Try starting with a blob of white and add a little blue to it then apply the color to a section of the artwork using diagonal brush strokes. Add a little more blue to the white and apply it in the same way. Continue in this fashion until about half of the artwork is complete.
4. Repeat step three only this time start with blue & gradually add black to it.
5. Children experiment with adding their own tints and shades to their chalk outlines. Be sure you paint each section with a different shade or tint of blue and use diagonal brush strokes.
6. Once dry experiment with outlining techniques. I’ve tried charcoal, black paint applied with a thin brush, and thick black texta. My favorite is the charcoal but it can make a huge mess.
Tips and Tricks
a) Make sure you wash your brush thoroughly to ensure you don’t get undesired color blends.
b) Make sure you dry your brush so you don’t have runny paint.
People either love or hate the Cubist period. Where do you stand on the issue AND why? Students write one paragraph to be glued on the back of the artwork.