Friday, April 01, 2016

Art in the Style of Cezanne!

This week we learned about Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) and his importance in the modern art movement. 

His work was less structured and literal - he was more interested in form, shape, and color than he was in simply replicating life. He felt that cameras, as they were becoming more widely used, could take care of that. His work was somewhat distorted at times; tables seemed to be tilted, shapes a bit off kilter, and perspective not quite right. These style elements were purposeful; his intent was to create art, not simply to duplicate what he saw. Colors were adjusted, color relationships were intensified, and paint was applied liberally. Many 20th century artists have since reflected Cezanne's "new" way of thinking and painting in their own artwork.

We started with three different still life arrangements.                                                                         
We chose one and drew it loosely with vine charcoal on watercolor paper. Then we painted over the lines with thick black tempera paint, so that some of the outlines would show through after the color was added. 

After it dried, we painted in the colors (actual or made up) with thick tempera paint. It didn't matter if bowls were tilted or fruit was added, left out, or layered in weird ways. In one painting, apples became lemons, and it was okay! 

Then we walked away, took a few breaths, and stood back to evaluate our work. We wend back and added white highlights here and there and shades in the shadowy areas as needed. We did some tweaking as needed. 

The colors were so thick and rich... Aren't they beautiful?

Note: Using good quality tempera paint makes a huge difference! We always use RAS Tempera Color, which is very opaque and an excellent transition for older kids moving into acrylic painting. Also, it has real color names, such as pthalo blue and titanium white. We get ours from Jerry's Artarama.

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