Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Apples and Oranges

My other 5th grade class also painted apples, but to switch it up a little, I brought in apples and oranges to create a more complex still life. It was the first time painting a still life for many of the students and they really had a good time!

It took approximately 4 - 45 minute classes for the students to finish their still lifes, so you have to make sure you have a nice cold spot to store your fruit in the interim. Of course they were using their skills learned in the previous lesson about form and outerspace. But I found that this lesson really showed the students how important careful observation is when trying to depict an object realistically. We talked a lot about seeing what is really there, and not what you think is there. I had to remind students that they needed to keep looking at their still lifes and observe that an apple is not just red, but could have green, yellow, brown, and even purple in it.

They also observed that they couldn't see all of the fruit equally. They had to make sure that there was overlap. Many of then came up with creative solutions for their tables and backgrounds. This was a fun lesson and a real eye opener for many of the students that careful observation is the key to depicting what is actually there!

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