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New Year, New Projects

As always, I'm trying to find some new and different projects to try out. This year, I thought I would do something inspired by Ton Schulten the Dutch painter best known for his bright colorful landscapes. I decided that I didn't want to strictly copy his work, so I encouraged my students to experiment a bit and be looser with their paint. While his work is very geometric, I encouraged my students to focus on just making a nice color field painting to start and not worry about having straight edges. This allowed students to feel more free to experiment mixing colors giving their paintings a wider range of colors and more depth to the color.

After letting their paintings dry, students went over the top of those color field paintings sketching first in pencil then outlining with marker or paint. So far the results are looking great and the kids are having fun. I have been doing this project with my first graders as a nice way to start the school year introducing concepts of abstraction as well as elements of a landscape such as a horizon line. It's a good way to bring in concepts like size to indicate depth as well as talking about balance within the composition.

Here is a video I used to teach the lesson to my first graders.

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