Let’s Get Started


The different seasons offer a perfect opportunity to explore colour and the differences that can be seen throughout their world.  It gives students the opportunity to explore how the different seasons and the activities associated with them can be represented artistically through painting.

Think about what characteristics from Merrymaking could the students include in their work?  Stylistic features, such as Krieghoff’s use of colour, his grouping of people and the activities they are engaged in, the type of landscape, even the time of day are components students can reflect on and incorporate in their own paintings.


The class will discuss the characteristics of each season. Things such as the colours in nature, outdoor activities, and their “favourite” part of each season are great starting points. This preparation discussion will help students do some initial brainstorming before the painting activity begins. Perhaps having some images for outdoor scenes from different seasons would be helpful.


Note: Have the example image of Cornelius Krieghoff’s painting Merrymaking on display for the class to refer to if needed.

  1. Have students choose their most “fun” season of the year, to make a painting in the spirit of Merrymaking!
  2. With their seasonal activity sorted out students can create a sketch that will guide their painting.  Their sketches are meant to help them organize their characters and the activities, time of day and landscape setting. Encourage students to pay close attention to the expressions and gestures of the many people in Merrymaking. What will the students have to do to get their characters to look like they are in motion? Perhaps they will pose for each other?
  3. Have the sketches done in pencil so that any mistakes can be easily erased. The more detail in their images the better for this activity.
  4. Once their initial sketches are done students must think about the colours they will need to achieve the best look for the season they chose. Their colour choices are key for this activity. Some discussion questions that may help are: Should the colours be bright or dull, warm or cold? Any questions relating to colour and how they affect art are welcome at this point.
  5. Once students have decided on their colours they may begin painting their image. Have students try to keep as much detail as possible considering constrictions with paintbrushes. (Smaller brushes help with this)
  6. When the paintings have finished students will have the opportunity to create a second piece if time allows. For this second painting students can select their second favourite season/activities.
  7. After all paintings are dry students can take time to share their pieces with the class are describe the activities that are depicted in their image. They can also share and stories that they have from their personal lives about why they chose a particular season.

Tips and Tricks

Having paint colours divided into warm and cold colours before class starts can help with time constraints during this activity.