Friday, February 19, 2010

Hopper Picture Person Project

Ground Swell, by Edward Hopper was the latest work of art I discussed with my 1st grader's class. The kids liked it because of the boat and the ocean, and in the middle of a harsh Illinois winter it seems almost like paradise. Hopper is a famous American realist painter, most known for his painting, Nighthawks.

Anyway, Hopper is known for painting everyday realistic themes that evoke feelings of loneliness and sadness. His use of color is an important factor in his work and for the kids' project we used color to create an emotion. We talked about Hopper's life and how his work was different than most artists at the time. He painted things to look realistic in a time when abstract art was all the rage. He loved to paint boats and the ocean and other everyday scenes.

I found the project in this AWESOME book. It is a great project that even Charlie (who is 4) loved. The finished project is totally frame worthy.

First off I mounted drawing paper (not sketch) on a board. My makeshift "boards" were made
from free USPS shipping boxes cut in half. I used thick blue artist tape to tape the edges of the paper to the board, covering about an even strip around the edge to create a border when removed. I brought a ton of black permanent markers and told the kids to draw something emotional, something that would create a feeling. I had them name some feelings and then we asked them to tell us what they could draw.
We practiced it at home, like we always do, to test the time and mess factors that will be involved in the project.

Jack drew a dog and Charlie a happy face. Once they drew their main subject, we put the permanent markers away. I then had the kids color with some washable markers, letting them know that those colors would fade and spread out. Some kids colored with crayons too.

As the kids finished up I took them back to a table where I had watered down about 5 different colors of acrylic paint. I had them pick a color to represent the emotion they were showing in their picture.

Most kids chose 2-3 colors, but it was ok since they were really watered down. If they got too much water on the paper we used paper towels to dab up some. They liked the effects the wash had on the marker areas.

The end results were so awesome. My husband actually thought that the dog Jack did was the print we were discussing!! I let the pictures dry in the hallway for a few hours and then removed the tape (carefully). There were so many cool different pieces.

My kids pictures are hanging up in our house!

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