Magazine article School Arts

Studying Skies: Rain, Fog, and Mist

Magazine article School Arts

Studying Skies: Rain, Fog, and Mist

Article excerpt

Enduring Ideas

Jane Wilson's skyscapes help us to feel a misty hot July morning, a green rain, a clouded sun, veiled moon, or a foggy late afternoon. Actual observation of the many climate variations in our sky will increase our awareness of changes of light, color, and mood. Learning and drawing about rain, fog, and mist may add to students' ecological understanding and enrich their art expression.

Art Exemplars

* Downpour by Jane Wilson (2002). Oil on linen.

* Rain, Steam, and Speed by J.M.W. Turner (1844).

* Pale Morning Sun by Richard Bogart.

* People on a Bridge Surprised by Rain by Ando Hiroshige (1856).

* The Seine at Giverny, Morning Mist by Claude Monet.

Lesson Overview

This lesson provides an opportunity to search out, study, and risk drawing and painting rain, fog, and mist. Awareness of the atmosphere is the key; seeing artists' works may help us to see better the similar relationships of colors and light in our own sky. After discussion of various ways of depicting rain, fog, and mist, students will create a painting.


Enlarged reproductions of two artist's works (Wilson, Hiroshige, Turner, Monet, or Bogart), postcards or photo cutouts of landscapes, chalk pastels, 12 x 18" (30.5 x 46 cm) construction paper (white, gray, light blue, lavender)

Guiding Inquiry

* Compare Wilson's Downpour with Turner's Rain, Steam, and Speed in style and mood.

* Why does Wilson paint such bright colors in a rainstorm?

* Describe the mood, shapes, and colors (bright, dull, light, dark, similar, opposite) she uses.

* Does Wilson's Downpour look like any rainstorm you have ever seen? Why or why not?

* Contrast and compare Wilson's painting of rain with that of Hiroshige in terms of realism, mood, and color.

* Compare Bogart's Pale Morning Sun with Monet's Morning Mist in color and shape.

* How does the Hiroshige print differ from Wilson's painting in medium, color, and culture?

* Have students select the artwork they like best and tell why.

Guiding Expression

* Discuss with students the kind of weather they will draw (rain, fog, or mist), the colors they will use (warm or cool, bright or dull), and the mood they will express {sad, angry, happy, excited). …

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