Let’s Get Started
Inspiration is all around us. It is just outside our windows and doors. We often walk past this inspiration without even noticing the beauty that surrounds us. This art activity is about opening our eyes and noticing the beauty in our backyards. Students will have to look at their surroundings and pay attention to what makes their neighbourhood or community special. Within their communities there are sure to be events, whether planned community activities such as fairs, or natural events such as floods or snowstorms. Students will be instructed to think of one such special event that they can remember occurring in their community.
Students will be given the opportunity to bring in a photo of their community, street, neighbourhood, etc. Have a few extra photos on hand just in case certain students forget to bring a picture each day. Students will use these images as guidelines and will add crowd, event and community details to them as they desire.
Note: Have the example image of Bruno Bobak’s painting Flood, Waterloo Row on display for the class.
- Students will discuss the fact that in this painting the artist chose to paint something from his home community. As a class, discuss what parts of their community make it unique and special. Take time to discuss special events that occur within communities. Suggestions can be given from the teacher if students need prompting. Students will try to think of where these events specifically take place within their community and what makes these events memorable.
- All students will be instructed to think about their favourite place in their community and ask if anyone wants to share this with the rest of the class.
- The students will all have their image available to paint from as a guideline. A trick is to tape the image to their desks so that it does not move around too much or get lost.
- Students will begin by doing a preliminary sketch on the paper so as to get general placement. After this point, they are ready to begin painting.
- Students will be given their paint tray with their spectrum of colours (which varies depending on resources). Be sure to not use too much black as it over powers most colours very easily. The paper can also be distributed at this time by a student who is waiting their turn to get their paint. Once they have their paint, they will begin.
- For students who have completed their assignment they can attempt to create a different painting based on a different photograph. They can exchange it with one that the teacher has, or if their friends have finished perhaps they could swap their own images. The special event that occurs in this painting does not have to be a “real” event but can be something completely from their imagination.
- After all the paintings are complete and dry (probably the next day) students will hang their work up in the classroom. Other students will see if they can identify the different locations depicted in the paintings.
Tips and Tricks
Make sure to have a variety of paintbrushes in different shapes and sizes so that students can work on adding detail.