My fifth graders are finishing up a unit on elements of color and a study of Henri Matisse.
We began by doing a complementary color exercise and viewing the Dropping in on Matisse video which I love.
See also my older posts and detailed steps and exercises by clicking on the Matisse label to the right.
I think teaching about Matisse's life is so encouraging for students and such a great vehicle for motivation- I always point out that he was very sick twice and both times he used a situation where most people would be less motivated to be more motivated and find a new path.
After reviewing complementary colors and looking at a few of Matisse's artworks I did a new version of my Color Harmony Lesson that I did last year, this time using a large piece of tissue paper first and the paper tape that you moisten to turn into glue and stick down for the smaller pieces:
This is a one day lesson that the students examine and critique as a group when we are finished to see what types of elements create stronger harmony and composition.
We examined a handful of Matisse's paintings that incorporated windows.
The objective of the students' work was to incorporate a window, something outside the window, a fishbowl of any form, a flower vase/pot, and fill the page with color while considering how their color choices would play out.
They did not have to draw the entire thing out in pencil first. We "marked" where the main elements would go and I had them just go for it! They used mostly tempera cakes with some Crayola oil slicks.