Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fourth and Fifth: Chinese Bamboo Paintings

I love doing this lesson as it forces students to work sloooowly, methodically, and of course, learn about a different culture. In the Chinese culture, because bamboos can bend during storms, but are not easily broken, they symbolize strength and integrity.  Students first mixed black sumi ink and green paint to create a dark green color for their bamboo. Beginning from the bottom of the paper, they painted upward in calm, confident strokes, lifting up their brush to make thin gaps for the bamboo nodes. For the delicate stems, students used just the tips of their round brush to create the thinnest lines possible. I told them this part needed to be fast or else their lines will be bumpy and "nervous". One of the funnest steps to this project was making a chop of their names. After coming up with an interesting  signature that fit inside a tiny square, they carved it in reverse on a styrofoam square. Then they glued the styrofoam onto a wooden block and stamped it on their painting. Finished!

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