Meeting the Masters

Submitted by: Diane Parker

School, or Affiliation: Corridor Elementary School, Eugene, OR

Date: 1994


Grade Level(s): 2, 3, 4, 5

Subject(s):

  • Arts/History

Objectives:

  • To understand how the great master painters used the elements of design to create famous paintings
  • To create a master’s painting using graphics software

Materials:

  • One or multiple computers; color printer Software: graphics
  • Five large prints from master painters
  • A teacher-prepared syllabus of information on each painter studied

Time Required: 20 class periods

Procedure:

  • Introduce students to the first master’s print. Give a brief background of the artist.
  • Discuss the unique style of the artist, what makes it unique, and how it was achieved. Tell students how the style is constructed. For example:
    • (1)George Seurat (1859-1891), French painter – “Sunday Afternoon on the Island La Grande Jatte:” Seurat concentrated on a style called pointillism. Instead of applying paint in uneven daubs, he used bright little dots.
    • (2)Henri Matisse (1869-1984), French painter – “Anemones and Woman:” Matisse used line and pattern to create his pictures. He avoided depth by not using shades and by concentrating on flatness rather than perspective. Nothing mattered except areas of color and their relation to each other.
  • Demonstrate the style techniques, using the graphics software.
  • Have the students work with the graphics software for two of three days to produce their own final print productions exhibiting the style being studied.
  • Introduce the other artists and prints in the same manner; suggestions are Piet Mondrian and Pablo Picasso.

Follow-Up/Extension:

Mount the students’ pictures in the room, assigning each a number. Have the students critique each other’s prints. For each picture, ask students to make three positive statements and three constructive criticisms.