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

3rd Grade Still-Life with Goldfish

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 3:05 PM

I've seen the Matisse artwork 'Still-Life with Goldfish' done many times and I always loved the artwork and wanted to try using the artwork for a project myself.  Here's what I came up with.

Day 1- We discussed what a design is and identified designs in Matisse's painting. I demonstrate to the students how to divide their paper into 3 parts to create the illusion of perspective to create the corner of the room.  Students then chose 4 colors of oil pastels and created 3 different designs (one in each part) using only those 4 colors.

Day 2- I discussed the idea of unity and using a color family to create a sense of cohesion and unity in their artwork.  I then reviewed how to use watercolors and had the students paint over their oil pastel designs using the same colored watercolors.  The students were challenged to create light values of blue, green, and red if they used light blue, light green, or pink oil pastels.  It was important that they background have a specific color family so that the fish would eventually become the focal point. 

Day 3- I discussed focal point with the students and after looking at Matisse's painting came up with 3 ways an artist can create a focal point: color, shape, and size.  I then demonstrated how to use newsprint paper to draw a fishbowl with fish in it.  Students had photo references of fish to use and when done with the sketch students traced their drawing onto acetate with colored Sharpie's.To create a focal point, the fish(es) had to be a color that wasn't in their color family. 

Day 4- This was the last day of the lesson.  Students cut out their fishbowl, cut and glued tinfoil to the back of it where the water in the fishbowl would be, and then drew and cut a symmetrical table.  Although not every students stuck with their color family and some created fish that matched their background instead of standing apart from it, the projects still came out great!