Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Birds In the Style of Matt Sesow

I ran across this artist on Pinterest a year ago and started doing some research on him.  Matt Sesow.   I made an immediate connection because he was born and raised in Nebraska.  So was I!  I discovered he lost his arm in a plane accident.  You can find out more about his life HERE.   I show a power point, which you can access HERE.  The first slide is a picture of him.  It takes awhile, but all students finally recognize that he is an artist who only has one arm.  The kids were enthralled with this, and the fact that he was a self-taught artist.  He now lives in Washington D.C. and works full time as an artist.

We focused on his paintings of birds and I had students pick out elements that were the same in all his work.  Here is what they noticed.

* He used concentric circles for the eyes.
* He uses lots of bright colors.
* His birds are painted using simple shapes.
* He uses black outlines around the birds for contrast.

So, we began with a sketch on colored construction paper in pencil, then outlined the sketch with black glue.  When I made my black glue at the beginning of the year and I used several things.  I mixed some with black tempera, some with india ink and some with black acrylic.  The acrylic gets a bit thick, so I would stick with the other two mediums.  Mixing 1/2 glue with 1/2 paint works best.

Once dry, we used oil pastels to add the color.  What I wanted my students to experiment with was layering and blending colors.  We talked about the colors on the wheel and decided the ones closest to each other would blend the best.  Analogous Colors!  We also decided that using white will work with any color to lighten it.  I got some amazing results!  Check them out.

My teacher example....

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