My teaching of visual arts previously focused on one artist such as Picasso, Monet, or Van Gogh. I realised that I was presenting a narrow view of arts. So, instead I focused on four artists, with very different styles: Joan Mitchell, Katsushika Hokusai, Margaret Preston, and Claude Monet.
This was highly successful, with students particularly enjoying producing abstract art.
Hook/Stimulus- What is art?
Click here for more resources regarding art hooks/stimulus.
How art has changed…
- How has art changed?
- What do you notice about the different styles of art?
Students can work with a partner to order these pictures in the order they think the artworks were created. Students can then look at the artwork timelines websites and reflect/compare their predicted art timeline with the ones on the websites.
Joan Mitchell: Focus on the abstract expressionist style
About Joan Mitchell:
Videos introducing abstract art techniques:
Student Focus: As a class, we watched the above videos of artists painting in the abstract style. I gave students paint brushes, plastic knives, cotton balls and paper to use to spread paint- students could select the materials they used. The focus was on being expressive.
Katsushika Hokusai: Focus on the style of Japanese art (pure, bright colour and images in their simplest form)
Student focus: creating a landscape in its simplest form, painting with ‘flat’ colour, only adding back or white to colours (not mixing colours).
Margaret Preston: Focus on still life art, influenced by Chinese and Aboriginal art
About Margaret Preston:
Critical thinking opportunity: Did Margaret Preston understand the meaning of the Aboriginal images and symbols she was using? Was she respectful of Aboriginal art?
Student focus: Students had experience creating still life artwork, including drawing:
- flowers: plastic flowers bought from a ‘cheap’ shop or real flowers
- bowls of fruit: each table group had a plastic bowl with three pieces of fruit
- tea cup and saucer: ‘old fashioned’ looking tea cups bought from a second hand shop.
Extension: students could have experience creating still life artwork in a different style, eg. cubist
Student Focus: cubist, angular, non-realistic shapes of fruit. Option: students could use one continuous line, from one side of the page to the other to divide the composition into sections.
Monet: Impressionist brush stroke technique
Introducing impressionist techniques:
Student focus: As a class, students watched the videos introducing the impressionist technique. Students then created landscape paintings with a focus on using short brushstrokes, building up and mixing the colour on the page, not having ‘flat’ colour.
Introducing Art Vocabulary
Introducing students to a range of art styles and techniques:
Large-scale art installations
Chiharu Shiota http://www.chiharu-shiota.com/en/
Art & Technology
Paris Digital Art Museum
Drawing cities from memory
Click here for examples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.
Click here for a range of artworks for students to respond to.
Why look at art?