This project was inspired by the still life paintings of Paul Cezanne. Paul was a french artist and a Post-Impressionist painter known for his still life paintings and use of color to emphasize tints and tones (highlights and shadows). I like to push for value around 4th grade, so I felt this was an appropriate project for this age!
-10.5" x 16" white paper
-12" x 18" colored paper to frame
-Oil pastels (pull out the color black for last)
The students will create a "still life" picture and use oil pastels to color in. Students will show value by using colors as tints and tones (highlights and shadows).
I have students create 3 objects in their still life pictures. The first object is a bowl. Students have the choice of filling that bowl with fruit, soup, or ice cream. The second object is a drink item, like a mug, shake glass, cup, or chalice. The third object is student's choice: utensils, napkins, and candle holders seem to be the most popular, but I like to encourage choice.
Students have prior knowledge of placement of objects in a drawing, like a cup on the table, not above it. Watch the students during the drawing of the project so they don't fall into the habit of drawing objects "on the line" and lose their placement or perspective
This project takes 3-4 days, 40 minute class periods.
Day one is for drawing. Students choose their own still life objects. You can also change it up and add actual objects in the room for students to sketch (if you feel the students can manage drawing from observation). My class is not set up for an observation table, and with our limited time, I have them draw on their own.
On day 2, I introduce how to create value with oil pastels. I ask students to choose three colors, a light, medium, and dark (ex. yellow, orange, and red). Students color in each space with the medium color, then use the light color for tints and dark color for tones. I do not have students use the black oil pastels until the very end for tracing.
Day 3-4 is for coloring in the rest of their still life pictures. Some students finish faster than others, so depending on what project comes next, I either create a simple 1 day project or have students start ahead on their next project.
Here are some finished examples!