Monday, August 25, 2014

The lost post-5th Grade Ton Schulten Landscapes

Folliwing a project on Tiffany lamps, (Post HeRe) I introduced my students to the work of Dutch artist Ton Schultn. I got the idea for this project from the blog Mary Making 

Sculten was born in Holland in 1938.  He is alive and is still working today.  His work centers on shape and color and borders on abstraction.  A quote I had the children read about his work:
"My goal is to bring people joy, love and peace, and to show them harmony. My intention is for my pictures to stimulate people to think positively. I hope that they will let themselves be inspired by the colors I use, and derive new strength as a result."

 To begin the lesson we compared and contrasted stained glass to Schulten's work.  We discussed the use of color to create mood and the different effects using organic or geometric shapes has on the overall look of an artwork.  I showed the student a SmartBoard file that contained a variety of objects seen in a landscape/seascape/cityscape. and how those objects are comprised of simple shapes.
  Using the slide as a reference, students sketched their landscape idea on 6x9" newsprint and when ready, transferred their drawing onto 14x17" black paper using pencil or white oil pastel (based on their comfort level).  Before color could be added, the drawn lines had to be thickly traced over with Elmer's glue.  *Note: the transferring of the drawing and the glue need to be completed in one period that way it is dry and ready to be colored the following art class.*

I demonstrated how to blend colors using chalk pastels and gave the students some scrap paper to practice on.  We discussed "overblending", and how the colors become muted if they are mixed too much.  If students wanted to create that effect, it was fine with me, as long as it was done intentionally.  I also always teach "2-finger blending" to prevent them from using their entire hand, which someone always inevitably does anyway, to attempt to keep them from getting covered in chalk pastel. 

I encouraged the students to blend more than 3 colors in each shape and use the colors purposely and thoughtfully.  They did a fantastic job! There's something magical about chalk pastels...if you can instill a little self control using the material, the results are always great.