Wednesday, September 17, 2014

First grade- Birch Trees in Autumn

I came across Simon Fairless' Silver Birch in Autumn painting and had to make a lesson out of it. It's so stinkin' beautiful! and perfect for Fall even though it doesn't actually start feeling crisp until January here in SoCal. This lesson was great for elements of art terms such as: repetition, lines, and space. We discussed how Fairless made some of the trees appear to be farther back by painting them darker and how the dark background contrasts nicely with the white trees.  After our discussion, students drew pairs of vertical lines across their page with short marks to distinguish the birch from the background. Then they mixed a dark gray and painted between the trees.  For the second class, students painted a few of the trees a light gray to push it back into the space. Once they were dried, they painted black dash marks on the bark. The leaves were created by dabbing a corner of a sponge in warm Fall colors. I love how they turned out.

Although I'm happy with them, it could have taken less time. This lesson took four classes, but I think it could have easily taken three at the most if I had given students colored sulphite paper. However, the background wouldn't have been as interesting.


  1. Replies
    1. Wow!! I feel so honored that the artist himself likes my students' work!! I love your paintings, thank you for being an inspiration to us!