Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sunrise Silhouettes

     These paintings made by my 5th graders turned out so beautiful!  Using watercolors, we painted our skies first, focusing on using colors that we would find in a sunrise or sunset.  Next, we painted the tree branch silhouettes with black tempera paint.  This project lends itself to the discussion about how backlighting the subject creates outlines or shadows and loses detail.  Painting tree branches is a great way to teach kids how much pressure they should put on the paintbrush for the desired result.  We painted the large branches first, making sure we loaded our brushes with an ample amount of paint and pressed down on the bristles to make the thick lines.  For the medium branches, we used less paint and focused on pressing down and lifting the brush up at the end to create a variation of thickness.  Lastly, we worked on 'flicking' our brushes to create small, thin branches.  For added detail, I gave the students Sharpies to add the very small, fine branches to their silhouettes.  Here are two great examples:

Elijah's Painting

Timothy's Painting

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