ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Teaching»
  • Lesson Plans

Making Georgia O'Keeffe Inspired Art with Elementary Students

Updated on June 30, 2013
Georgia O'Keeffe inspired 5th grade art
Georgia O'Keeffe inspired 5th grade art | Source
kindergarten O'Keeffes
kindergarten O'Keeffes | Source
1st grade art
1st grade art | Source
4th grade art
4th grade art | Source
4th grade art
4th grade art | Source
5th grade art
5th grade art | Source
5th grade art
5th grade art | Source
5th grade art
5th grade art | Source

I have loved Georgia O'Keeffe's artwork for most of my life. I highly enjoy introducing her artwork to my students and sharing my love for her art with them. The girls love her flowers, of course, and the boys really like her Southwest art that includes skulls.

I include Georgia O'Keeffe in the unit with some of my favorite art masters; Van Gogh, Monet, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas and Picasso are also in this group. I always have coloring sheets on hand for those students that finish early, they can color them at the end of class. These are especially helpful with my youngest students. I try to have the sheets relate to our current project and at the beginning of this unit, I bring in copies of the masters artworks done as coloring sheets. This helps familiarize the students with some of the masters most famous artwork. I also have many examples of their artwork around the room on various art posters. While looking at art by O'Keeffe, I point out that many of her famous pieces are extreme closeups and details of nature. I show them the subject runs off the canvas. I emphasize that this is an important part of the project we are about to do. I have my students use watercolor pencils and either heavy construction paper or watercolor paper.The pencils are great to use to draw the project out lightly. The final piece will have the appearance of a watercolor painting.

The first thing I do is draw an example on the board of a close up of a flower, I showed the students that I did not want them to have any white space left over on the paper. I told the students another requirement of the project was that I did not want to see any whole objects, I wanted the final piece to be an extreme close-up of whatever their subject was. I did a quick demonstration of how to use the watercolor pencil properly. I showed the students that if the desired color is a deep rich one, they need to color very solidly and fairly heavily. If the color they want to make is light, they can color it lightly. How heavily the watercolor pencil is applied is directly in relation to how deep or rich the final color will be. I have a couple of completed samples finished before the students come into class. I showed them how to use a paintbrush to apply water to the watercolor pencil and turn it into a painting. They are always amazed by this.

I then give all the students paper and watercolor pencils to use. I have Artgum erasers for the students in case they need to erase a minor line or mistake. Nothing will erase heavily applied watercolor pencil completely, so I instruct the students to draw with a light touch. Once they are close to completing the coloring portion of the project, I hand out water to each of them.

After the students have applied water all over the piece and are finished, I have them place the pictures onto the drying rack to dry. The projects are actually watercolor paintings now! The students are absolutely amazed and pleased at what they have produced, as was I.

It is very good to use heavy construction paper if watercolor paper is not available to you. This will limit the warping of the paper with the addition of water. If possible, try to use watercolor paper for watercolor pencils. These projects were so colorful and beautiful, I think Georgia O'Keeffe herself would have been inspired by them!

5th grade art
5th grade art | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 3 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      thank you for your wonderful comment and for stopping by my Hub! I absolutely love teaching art and feel so blessed to be an art teacher! Have a wonderful holiday season!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      How much fun the children must have .....Expressing ideas through painting and all is such a lovely thing...I had kids who longed for Art days. I tried to give them opportunities to express ideas as part of other assignments.

      lucky children to have you to allow such self expression

      Angels are on the way to you ps pinned and shared

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      She actually passed away in 1986, but had been an art professor in the early 1900's and was married to Alfred Stieglitz, a famous photographer, after he had photographed her for a few art exhibitions. She is considered a Modernist painter. She is actually considered the Mother of American Modernism. Impressionists kind of made everything blurry so it blended together from a distance, and her artwork consists of many extreme close-ups of nature, leave, flowers and the like. She was born near where I live in Sun Prairie, WI and spent the last half of her life in the American Southwest in New Mexico. Her paintings are absolutely beautiful, her floral work is some of my favorite work. Check her out and look up her stuff, it is amazing! Thank you for reading through my Hub!

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 4 years ago from USA

      So, can you explain to an artistically challenged person who Georgia O"keeffe is and is she still painting? I am also looking at this and thinking that it is sort of in the Impressionist Style.

      Is that correct? If not, what style is it called?

      Thank you for patiently explaining :)

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      Georgia's artwork has been an inspiration to me for most of my life and I am so glad to share my love for her art with students. This is a beautiful project that all ages of students can be successful with and is a perfect spring project. Thank you for perusing my Hub!

    • amberld profile image
      Author

      Amber Dahnke 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      This is such a fun project with students and they really have a good time completing it. It also makes for a very colorful and beautiful art room when they are all displayed together! Thank you for reading my hub about my students' artwork! I was so proud of how well they all did on it.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      i think that art is very inspirational and can really help those to find a passion in life. voted up.

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      Useful teaching guide. Voted up.