Art Lessons For Kids - Create A Fauvist "Wild Beast" Masterpiece

Creating your Fauvist Masterpiece

Fauvism is a term used to describe an art movement that lasted from 1905-1907. The term Fauvist, translates to "Wild Beast ", referring to the artists wildly expressive brushwork and brilliant colors.

A couple of the most well - known Fauvist painters were Henri Matisse and André Derain. They have several examples of paintings using bright unrealstic colors, rich with emotion and dense with unmixed colors. The Fauvist movement was noted for its very paintery-like qualities and intense vibrant colors, as it was heavily influenced by the Impressionists. Paul Gaugain and Paul Cezanne, both Impressionist artists, are considered the forefathers of the Fauvist movement.

* This project also introduces Thumbnail Sketches , which are commonly used by artists before they begin a painting. It helps work out any mistakes before using paints (to save money) and it saves time. Thumbnail Sketches also give the artist a wide variety of ideas to choose from before they even begin to work!

Materials you'll need to make your Fauvist Masterpiece:

  • 1 sheet of regular white paper (preferrably larger than 8.5 x11)
  • 1 sheet of thick watercolor paper (preferrabley larger than 8.5 x 11)
  • A Pencil
  • A Ruler
  • A set of opaque paints, I recommend Tempera, Acrylic or Poster Paints.

*If you need an alternative to paint due to budget or availabilty, you can subsitute oil pastels or color pencils.

  • A set of Brushes
  • Black paint for outlines

How to paint like a Wild Beast:

  1. Start with Thumbnail Sketches: Using the plain sheet of paper , draw a grid using the ruler and your pencil . Try to make even boxes (this can be prepared for the child ahead of time, and even photocopied if you have multiple children doing this project). I like to have at least 20 squares total
  2. Give a time limit to make all thumbnail sketches with a pencil . An example I use: 90 seconds a box - so no sketch is overthought. Thumbnail sketches should be based on any kind of landscape that the imagination can come up with including, outerspace, parks, homes, farms, cities, another planet, etc.
  3. Choose the most interesting thumbnail sketch and with a pencil , lightly sketch the thumbnail sketch onto the Watercolor paper, filling the entire page with what was in the thumbnail sketch box. (Depending on the size of the paper vs. the box, you may have to make slight adjustments.)
  4. Choose your paint palette.
  5. After painting in your landscape, let it dry a bit and go back in with a small brush and outline everything in black paint. This will help to tidy up the painting and give it a consistent look.

Tips:

  • Look for colors that ar the opposite of what you would normally choose. So, if your grass is green, try painting it pink instead. Clouds no longer have to be white, try orange or green! Turn your landscape upside down and wild with color !
  • Consider using lots of pinks, purples and oranges - colors found in a vibrant sunset

Clean Up: Make sure to wash your brushes out immediatley after use so they'll last for many more paintings to come. A moist rag with mild detergent will clean up paint and pencil. Window cleaner also cleans paint off of many surfaces. If you're making this project on nice furniture, make sure to cover it first with plastic or newspaper.

And, remember: Art, like any other skill is a practice which gets better each time you do it!

Fauvist Painting Examples

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Student work.  If you look closely, you'll see a piece of the thumbnail sketch under the painting on the left side.Completed Student Masterpiece!Completed Student Masterpiece!"Turning Road" after Derain"Charing Cross Bridge" after Derain"LesToits de Colloure" after Matisse"The Green Stripe" after Matisse (This is a portrait of Matisse's wife)"Open Window" after Matisse"Woman With Hat" after Matisse
Student work.  If you look closely, you'll see a piece of the thumbnail sketch under the painting on the left side.
Student work. If you look closely, you'll see a piece of the thumbnail sketch under the painting on the left side.
Completed Student Masterpiece!
Completed Student Masterpiece!
Completed Student Masterpiece!
Completed Student Masterpiece!
"Turning Road" after Derain
"Turning Road" after Derain
"Charing Cross Bridge" after Derain
"Charing Cross Bridge" after Derain
"LesToits de Colloure" after Matisse
"LesToits de Colloure" after Matisse
"The Green Stripe" after Matisse (This is a portrait of Matisse's wife)
"The Green Stripe" after Matisse (This is a portrait of Matisse's wife)
"Open Window" after Matisse
"Open Window" after Matisse
"Woman With Hat" after Matisse
"Woman With Hat" after Matisse

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Comments 1 comment

Pat 4 years ago

Wonderful idea! Married to a surrealist painter using much of the Fauvist style, I was searching for understandable definitions. As a former teacher, who worked more years as a NGO director, I LOVE the work you are doing and the results of your students. Terrific to see.

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