Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Printmaking Seahorses with Van Gogh

PREPARATION: add a bit of dish soap to all the paint colors. This will help to get it off the students hands.

DISCUSSION: The Seahorse: what do the students already knew about them?
Interesting facts such as: the male sea horse births the babies rather than the female,
A sea horse's eyes move independently so it can hunt with one eye and watch out for enemies with the other.

Texture comes into play as you might reveal a finger or thumbprint as you work on this project and it is a great way to tie in the artist Van Gogh:

ARTIST: Van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
(30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890)
Dutch Post-Impressionist painter
His work had a far-reaching influence on 20th century art
Known for his vivid colors and emotional impact.
Van Gogh did not begin painting until his late twenties
most of his best-known works were produced during his final two years.
He produced more than 2,000 artworks, consisting of around 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches.
His work was a strong influence on the Modernist art that followed.
Today many of his pieces—including his numerous self portraits, landscapes, portraits and sunflowers—are among the world's most recognizable and expensive works of art.
Known for his paint application creating texture and movement.
He suffered from anxiety and increasingly frequent bouts of mental illness throughout his life,
died largely unknown, at the age of 37
sold only one painting while he was alive

for additional information, please visit:

Painting with demonstration: Show the Students different techniques using their brushes
Vertical stroke
Horizontal Stroke
Top of the brush
Side of the brush
End of the brush

PRINTMAKING: using hands to make a print today. What does a print mean?
How many prints of our hands could we make?

PROJECT : Brushstroke/hand print Seahorses
Step 1: Students then laid the side of their brushes in yellow then orange or magenta, alternately, and printed three vertical strokes side-by-side for the head.
Step 2: they turned the brush horizontally to create a snout and used the tip of the brush to make two dots for the end of the snout.
Step 3: They continued to make the body, Using their four fingers dipped into the paint they make a print of their hand for the body.
Step 4: The sea horse was finished by making smaller brushstrokes for the curving tail, ending with tiny dots at the end. This technique is very forgiving--it's difficult to make a mistake. Experiment with overlapping strokes for an interesting effect.
Step 5: Dip the tip of the brush in yellow made the perfect big eye.
Step 6: The end of the handle of a brush dipped in green was used to make tiny pupils of the eye, each looking in a different direction.
Step 7: Make seaweed with the one-stroke method, blending yellow and green tempera.
Step 8 if time allows students can paint colorful schools of tropical fish were printed all with a few strokes of the brush.

Blue paper

Found this great project in the September 2008 issue of Arts and Activities.

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