Sunday, April 14, 2013

Charlie Russell Painting Lesson

This is another Charlie Russell project I just finished with my 3-6 grade class. These kids really enjoyed learning more about this artist. I showed a couple of youtube videos on him and several of his prints. Like I said in my earlier post on Russell, the kids in this small Montana school can really appreciate his art and love looking at the history of their state that he so masterfully portrayed in his pictures.

For this lesson we took one of his paintings called "Just a Little Sunshine" (see below), and I had the students copy the cowboy and horse, while creating their own background. We worked on using a soft touch with the watercolors to try and give the same feel that Charlie Russell had in his work.

I chose this particular painting because I thought it would be an easier picture to copy than most of his paintings which have alot of action in them. I think the kids had alot of success with this project, and they were very proud of their work.

Charlie Russell horse lesson

The next Charlie Russell project I did with my K-2 class was a horse head. We practiced a step by step drawing of this with pencil on a scratch sheet then they did a final one on a sheet of watercolor paper. They outlined the pencil with a black flair pen and then went over the lines with a  damp watercolor brush. I love the look this creates-it was a simple medium to use for these little drawings. Here are some of the finished pictures.

Charlie Russell art lesson

I just finished doing several art lessons at the K-6 grade school that I teach at on the great western artist Charlie Russell. If you aren't familiar with him, he is a wonderful artist from Montana. In the past the only lesson I have used to teach about him has been the silhouette sunset art project (see March 2011 lesson on this blog). I wanted to spend several weeks with him this time as the school that I teach at is a little rural school in northwest Montana and the kids have been begging me to do some lessons on him. Most of my students live on a ranch or at least have horses and other farm animals, and they are very familiar with the western lifestyle that Russell depicts in his art.

Well I started my K-2 class with the silhouette project, then we did the scratch art boot project shown below. They really had fun with this. I brought in some boots which we practiced sketching and then we did it on big sheet of watercolor paper. Then they colored in the boot with oil pastels and painted over the whole surface with black or brown acrylic paint. We used a scratch art tool to scratch thru the paint to create a stitching design on the boot. Then I cut all the boots out and they choose a scrap paper background to glue it on and  then they stamped Charlie Russell's name.