Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Monet Artist Study

Self Portrait With A Beret - Oscar-Claude Monet

We've been doing a little low-key artist study this year using the Smart About Art series from Grosset & Dunlap.  I love these books because they're not as wordy or as dry as most children's biographies.  There are cartoons and word bubbles!  We read each book, then I have Crazy Bug fill out a sheet I typed up.  It has spots for the name of the artist, his year of birth and nationality, the artistic movement he was part of, and a brief description of his style.  (CB just jots down descriptive phrases, not whole sentences)  There's a space at the bottom to attach a picture of her favorite painting or sculpture by the artist.  Then we do a project in the style of the artist.

For example, today we read Claude Monet: Sunshine and Waterlilies (Smart About Art).

Artist: Claude Monet
Year of Birth: 1840
Country: France
Movement: Impressionism
Description: dabs of color, painted outside, light

For the project we looked at the painting The Waterlilies and tried to recreate it.  Now obviously, my 6 year old is not going to be able to paint a recognizable copy of The Waterlilies.  That's okay.  The point is, that in attempting to recreate it, she's looking closely at the artist's technique.  We observed that the water was made up of blue, green, and purple short up-and-down strokes.  The lilies used red, yellow, peach, pink, white, and light blue and were made with little swirly strokes.  Monet used extra green around clumps of flowers to suggest grasses.  The point of our artist study is not to create an artist, nor even to remember different painters and styles.  Instead, I want Crazy Bug to learn to notice how artists create their effects.  What colors, lines, and textures do they use?  Do things look realistic or not?  What kind of mood or reaction do those elements create?

Water Lilies 1916

Crazy Bug's Reproduction

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