During last week’s second grade art lesson, I introduced the element of VALUE- the relative lightness or darkness of a color.
For a hands on and visual interpretation of value, I had the kids make fingerprint value charts with their watercolors.
Then, I introduced Vincent Van Gogh, an artist whose use of value is readily apparent his works of art.
So many shades of blue in the sky and green in the trees.
The Starry Night. 1889
I always love the “oohs” and “aahs” that come when kids see Starry Night. It is a great example of how the artist uses darker shades of a color (in this case blue), to change the feeling of a painting (from day to stormy night in this case).
Then it was time for some watercolor practice. Only a small handful of kids in each class had ever used them before so I gave some basic instructions about adding water, not smashing the brushes, etc. Then, we worked on creating trees using value to add interest.
The final art project was to create a watercolor landscape, once again using value to create interest, depth and detail.
Even the most rowdy of the kids were quietly engrossed in painting while classical music softly played in the background.
Creativity was flowing, self confidence was building.
The serenity of the scene reminded me once again that keeping art education in the public schools is so important.