We began by making crayon rubbings of texture plates to create a bank of texture papers. Once we had enough, we created snow figure collages with them. Students were encouraged to make a snow figure of any sort, the only criteria being that the figure must look “at home” in a snow setting.
Once the snow figure was created, we used white crayon to make a texture rubbing for the sky. We used that same white crayon to outline “rolling hills”.
Once the crayon work was done, we used blue tempera cakes to create different tints of washes with which to paint the rolling hills. This was a chance to talk about atmospheric perspective,. Usually, green fields will become lighter and less brilliant the farther away they are. With snow, at night, the opposite effect occurs. Using blue paint brought out the cool quality of the snow scene.
Lastly, we looked at cast shadow vs. form shadow as we used washes of tempera to add shadow to the snow figure and the space around the snow figure. Here is a link to a good explanation of the difference.
My misstep in this lesson was to use a lesser quality paper that didn’t stand up to the rigors of collage and temera washes. I ended up ironing all of the pieces to flatten the buckles and curls in the paper.
All of the finished snow figure paintings have been uploaded to the Artsonia gallery and they look great. I am pleased with the painterly quality that many of them possess. My sixth grade classes had previously been working on some careful, fussy drawing projects and this was a welcome break to be creative and just have fun.
It’s nothing to lose your head about, but Artsonia is having a sale on merchandise through December 15th…!