Next, we looked at paintings by several different artists such as Rousseau and Matisse, and we talked about how artists take us places through their paintings.
I let the students choose between the categories of "above ground", "below ground" "underwater" or "on the ground" for their painted subject. The students then used crayon to draw what they wanted to paint on a large piece of cardboard that had a border around it to make it more like a window. Students drew everything from castles to fish to underground tunnels.
Next, I had them distinguish the background in their painting, by finding and painting that first.
Then, they used their knowledge and interest in color mixing to complete their paintings. Along the way, we discussed how artists like Van Gogh use brush strokes to describe the way objects grow and move.
Below are just a few of the paintings that the kids created. They are pretty great and very diverse in subject matter, color choices and painting style.