Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nighttime Paintings

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These beautiful nighttime paintings were done by 2nd graders.  We first looked at Henri Rousseau's Carnival Evening (see below). I asked the kids what time of day they thought this way.  As the conversation grew, we discussed what colors made it seem like night, what objects did we see, and what the season may be.  The students also shared  stories of their own nighttime experiences.  We used oil pastels to draw and color in their pictures and  then painted over the entire picture with black paint.  I gave them a second sheet of paper to press over the black paint, smooth with their palm and then "peel" away.  This removes any extra paint and helps to reveal the magical nighttime scene underneath.


  • If they take too long with the black paint it will dry.  Demonstrate how to paint over the entire picture quickly (almost with "scribble scrabble" strokes).  I also had them do the scribble scrabble motion in the air with me beforehand just to practice.
  • Some kids will apply too much paint. I walked around with a paper napkin to help them remove any extra paint.  
  • Make sure they use medium pressure with the oil pastels or else the colors may not show up well.

These are 9x12 and took one 45 minute session.


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