Friday, March 11, 2011

Lesson idea: Mini Masterpieces

If you can believe it, this canvas painting is only 3"x3" in size. (The easel is 3"x5".)

This project idea is a favorite among the students but I only do it with the Interactive Art History classes. I'm showing it a little ahead schedule as I try to time it to happen right before a gift-giving holiday but my student aide (an advanced studio) just prepared this as an example piece for when it's time to do it.

I usually do these right after I cover some of the greats of art history - Michelangelo, DaVinci, Monet, etc. When I was designing the curriculum, I didn't want to skip through the opportunity to do something that would imitate some of the most masterfully done pieces of art but it's incredibly daunting to study all of the work and then sit down and try and create an inspired piece. The mini canvas lend themselves to something that is so much more approachable than a large canvas and the mini easel to display them makes it hard to resist really getting into. Most of the students pick impressionistic-style pieces and that's always fine with me. They use Reeves brand Water-miscible oils (the classpack is nicely priced) and it offers a great sampling of the beauty that is oil painting without the major mess, fumes, etc.

I have the students do at least (3) thumbnails before getting started. Once they get started it usually takes them a solid three days of class/studio time to complete a their "masterpiece" and then it takes another four days or so for the paint to completely dry and set itself.

I will try and post some pictures of what my classes end up doing in a few weeks. The goal is to get these done and ready to be carried home for Mother's day. (I love doing stuff especially for the holidays and these were a big hit with everyone's moms last year.)

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