Magazine article Arts & Activities

Tempera WATER SCAPES

Magazine article Arts & Activities

Tempera WATER SCAPES

Article excerpt

So often, the subjects that appear in children's landscape paintings are houses, trees and mountains. These subjects are fine, but to change the thinking and challenge the vision of my young artists, I introduced the idea of painting water scenes.

We began with a lively discussion of the types of water with which they were familiar. Of course there are beautiful lakes and small rivers in our own community, but many children had taken summer vacations to the seashore. Some had been sailing; others talked of fishing trips. A few of the children talked about islands they had visited in the Northeast and others told of their experiences in the Caribbean.

All of the students had some memory of a favorite body of water. I discovered that the subject of water stirs the emotions in a special, magical way. We agreed that when looking out over water, from a small pond to a great ocean, you can lose yourself in a deep and mystical connection with nature.

After our discussion, it was time to plan ideas. Little pencil sketches served as a warm-up and helped with the design of the compositions. It wasn't important to have complex subject matter, as the center of interest in the paintings would be the water itself and the feeling it gives the artist. The main thrust of the lesson was the portrayal of weather, time of day and the emotions invoked. To accomplish these goals, the students had to pay attention to the way they mixed colors and how they applied them to paper. …

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