This turned out to be a longer unit but definitely one of my favorites because the project became so personalized. I stole the idea from Pinterest – no idea what pin or who to credit, but thank you. I’m not sure the process they used because I simply worked off of the picture I found so here it goes.
Students started by walking through this prezi with me. We had a great, and I mean great, discussion about how the artwork was so different than what we strive to create – when everything looks perfect. Students compared looking at Monet’s artwork to when you have blurry vision. They loved coming up to the screen and seeing how blurry his work became and then standing up and going to the back of the room to see how clear it could be.
After that, we took a trip with our imagination, all the way to Paris. We read the book, “Linnea in Monet’s Garden”, a classic and visualized taking the plan, packing our suitcase and walking through the gardens as she did. To end this class, we practice impressionistic style painting by dotting and using quick but thoughtful brushstrokes on our paper.
The next couple of classes, we approached our painting (using watercolor paper) in sections. First, we used blues, purples and teals to make the water. Then we used greens and yellows to paint dotted lines that would act as the blurry tree leaf background. Finally, we painted over the entire top half with water (since we were using watercolor) to blur our strokes even more and then dropped in bright colors for the flowers – reds, yellows, oranges, blue and purples.
To add the lily pads, we used oil pastels. We were a little burnt out on watercolors so this was a nice change.
Finally, I took a picture of ever student and printed it in color. Then, we cut out our bridge using shapes we had practiced in math class and glue them over top the cut out image of ourselves to make it look as though we were just like Linnea, standing on the bridge. Check out some of these final examples.
It was a lengthy project but students really enjoyed letting go of the stress involved in realistic painting and also enjoyed making a portrait of themselves – many commented on it being proof of their imaginary trip.