The 5th graders have been looking at the Impressionist painters and their very different way of looking at the world. Just as these 19th century artists chose to incorporate their own world into their artwork (rather than focus on traditional subject matter), so the 5th graders are creating a way of inserting a bit of lives and their interests into their paintings. Having worked for several weeks to learn to mix colors on their color wheels and charts (primary colors, secondary colors, tints, shades, and complementary colors), each student has now chosen a particular Impressionist painting to copy – in the style and palette of the Impressionists – and also to alter so as to personalize the artwork.
In order to understand how the Impressionists’ painting technique differed from others, the fifth graders watched this short instructional video. It emphasizes the use of small, short brushstrokes, dots, and dabs, in many variations of a single color over the application of large areas of a single color.