Students will gain an understanding of how much of a role emotion plays in artmaking as they create paintings based on feelings.
By Andrea Mulder-Slater
image, feeling, emotion, idea, expression, color, texture, line, imagine, create, change, evolve, happy, sad, angry, excited, alone, bright, dull, acrylic, tempera, experience, share, design
What You Need:
- a large sheet of heavy paper (or canvas)
- acrylic paint (for older students)
- tempera paint – or crayons (for younger students)
- mixing trays (could be styrofoam trays or sheets of old cardboard)
- paper towels
- old shirts or painting smocks
- music (various styles)
- scrap newsprint
What You Do:
- Talk about emotion. What does the word emotion mean? What kinds of emotions do we experience on a day-to-day basis.
- Talk about color. How do certain colors make us feel? Why?
- Talk about line. What kinds of lines are there? Straight, jagged, squiggly, zig-zag, etc.
- Warm up by having students draw lines (using pencil on newsprint) based upon certain feelings. IE: draw happy lines, draw angry lines, etc.
- You can also encourage your students to draw lines based on the music they are hearing (IE: jazz, classical, pop etc.)
- Once everyone is “warmed up” begin working with the paint. Make sure each student has a paintbrush, water and access to at least the three primary colors (red, yellow and blue).
- Give a quick demonstration of how paints are used properly (always clean brushes before dipping into a new fresh color … treat the brushes well by not squishing them down on the paper etc. Also, review color mixing (yellow + blue = green; red + yellow = orange; red + blue = violet)
- Everyone can then decide on an emotion or feeling which they will express using various paint colors, lines, textures and shapes.
- Allow your students to take as long as they need to create the final work, encouraging them to stand back from time to time to have a really good look at what they are doing. Is it moving in the direction they want it to? Are the desired feelings starting to emerge?
- Remember too that this is a very intuitive and subjective exercise and as such the works should not be analyzed by the instructor, but rather by the students themselves.
- When the paintings are complete, hang them up and see how others interpret the work. Does everyone see similar emotions in the same works? Yes? No? Why?
History: Look at the works of various artists throughout time. While looking at the works, see if you can pick out any strong emotional feelings.
Language Arts: Write an emotion story or poem to go along with your painting.
Music: Look at rhythm and movement in music and compare the idea of “emotional music” with “emotional painting”.
You’ll Love This:
What does the word emotion mean? What kinds of emotions do we experience on a day-to-day basis? How do we show emotion on our faces?
This lesson looks at emotions in a big, bold way. Taking inspiration from the Expressionists, students will create wild and exaggerated portraits showing extreme feelings.
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