Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

4th Grade Georgia O'Keeffe

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 9:52 AM

I found the inspiration for this lesson through a fellow art teachers pinterest board.  The original source of the picture is from Spencer Loomis Elementary School in Illinois, a link to students artwork can be found here

I taught this lesson to my kids with a few key principles in mind. 

Good         Not As Good

We examined different compositions and discussed what made some more successful than others.  These compositions included works by O'Keeffe as well as other flower paintings I sorted from a Google search. We narrowed our opinions down to 3 basic principles which the students would use in their compositions. 

First, shapes had to go off 3 edges of the paper.
Second, shapes had to be various sizes.
Third, no large empty areas of space.

I demonstrated how to use oil pastels and how to blend colors.  I created a chart that showed the difference between successful blending and not so successful blending.  I asked the students to share what the differences were and we narrowed it down to 3 principles which the students followed when coloring in their compositions.

First. the areas you are coloring are covered completely by the oil pastel, don't leave paper showing underneath.
Second, layer colors light on top of dark to create gradations in color.
Third, color each shape in using one direction to keep the texture even.

We also learned all about the art and life of Georgia O'Keeffe...The next project we are doing is based on her painting 'Ladder to the Moon'  Here is the PowerPoint I showed my students, I only showed them the first few slides...Also the slides after her flower paintings contain images and ideas for other projects based on southwest art, folk art, and craft.  FYI, some of the slides are a work in progress!


Here are some finished examples of the students work.  


I like how bold the colors came out. I've done Georgia O'Keeffe in the past but with chalk pastels. The look was very soft. It's interesting to see it with oil pastels.

Thanks Gabriela,
It's amazing to see the flowers come to life as the students fill in the black paper with color.