Monday, April 23, 2012

3rd Grade Flower Still Life Paintings

Students in 3rd Grade have been working on Still Life Paintings of flowers. We began the unit (as shown in an earlier post) by painting flowers in India Ink. After that lesson, students learned about warm and cool colors. We looked at two different abstract paintings and discussed how color can create mood.
Emil Nolde, "Tropical Sun" (from
Helen Frankenthaler, "Blue Territory" (from
We looked at each of the above paintings and discuss which season each painting reminds us of. Then we discussed how colors can be classified into "cool" (blues, greens, etc.) and "warm" (reds, oranges, etc.) colors. We spent the next two weeks exploring ways of making warm and cool colors in paint via mixing with various sizes of brushes.

After this, we revisited observational still life painting. I asked the students, "If you were to paint the flower (we painted the first week) again, what might you do differently?". Some examples of things students said were that they would "look at the flowers more so that their drawings were more realistic" and they would "paint each petal instead of the flower shape so that the flowers have more details". Students then painted the flowers from observation using brown wash (paint mixed with water) to create an underpainting.


The following week, students re-visited warm and cool colors and looked at two different examples of still life flower paintings. They learned that when artists choose warm or cool colors for the foreground, then do the opposite in the background, it creates a lot of contrast, which makes the flowers "pop" forward.
Vincent Van Gogh, "Irises" (from;
Example of warm colors in the background
 and cool colors in the foreground
Marsden Hartley, "Summer Clouds and Flowers" (from
Example of warm colors in the foreground and
cool colors in the background

We discussed that this is just one technique for painting flowers (and there are many other ways to paint flowers), but that for this project, we would focus on warm and cool colors being separate in our paintings. The following week, students worked on painting their flowers in either warm or cool colors. After that, students did the opposite types of colors in their background.

3-303 painting

3-303 painting

3-228 painting

3-204 painting

The final week, students worked on adding details to their flower paintings using small brushes.
Please enjoy our Flower Still-Life Paintings!
Alysha, 3-303

Jennesy, 3-303

Jordan, 3-303

Joselyn, 3-303

Larry, 3-303

Lucy, 3-303
Daniela, 3-204

Eliza, 3-204
Karen, 3-204

Stephany, 3-204