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Still Life & Paul Cezanne Art Lesson for Early Elementary

Updated on June 20, 2019
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I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

Still Life & Paul Cezanne Art Lesson for Early Elementary
Still Life & Paul Cezanne Art Lesson for Early Elementary

This is the 8th lesson in a series of 26 hands-on art lessons for Kindergarten and 1st grade. This lesson focuses on still life paintings inspired by Paul Cezanne. I used this plan while teaching a weekly 45 minute art class for children in Kindergarten and 1st grade. Each lesson includes an art concept, introductory book, focus on an artist, and a variety of art techniques to make each lesson engaging & memorable. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, homeschool, after-school program, or co-op!

Apples and Pears by Paul Cezanne
Apples and Pears by Paul Cezanne | Source

1. Use the paintings in Paul Cezanne by Mike Venezia to review portraits, self-portraits, landscapes, and perspective (or rather lack of it). Quickly review his life and ideas while flipping through the book.

You will need:

  • Paul Cezanne (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia or other book on Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists (Paperback))
Paul Cezanne (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists (Paperback))
We love this series! Even my younger children enjoy flipping through the pages. The author has done a wonderful job of combining a good assortment of Cezanne's paintings with a few paintings by his contemporaries along with a smattering of fun cartoons drawn by the author & illustrator. The book covers Cezanne's entire life and artistic ideas, and it is perfect for this age group!

2. Show Paul Cezanne's still life of Apples and Pears (included in the book above). What do they see? What do they notice about the fruit? Do they look real, like you could grab them out of the painting? Why or why not? What did he do in the painting to make them look that way?

You will need:

  • a copy of Paul Cezanne's Apples

Still Life of Apples

3. Lead the children in drawing the 3 apples on the table. Give the directions while modeling them on your own sheet of paper.

  • Paul Cezanne said, "Reproduce nature in terms of the cylinder and the sphere and the cone". That means that he created his still life paintings simply by looking at the individual shapes that made up each object. We'll do the same.
  • Using your black crayon, draw 3 large circles in the middle of your paper.
  • [Point out shadows from the lights under the apples.] To make these look a little more realistic, we're going to add shadows. They will all go on one side of the apple to show where the light source is coming from. They'll look like little crescent moons touching each apple. Color them in with your black crayon.
  • Add a V to the center of each apple.
  • Add a short line to middle of each V.
  • Now add the plate by drawing a circle or square around your apples. Make sure to have your lines not touch any of your apple circles.
  • Add a pattern to your tablecloth. Make sure your lines don't cross over your plate. They should stop on one side & start again on the other size. You can use wiggly lines, a checkerboard pattern, straight lines, or anything else.

You will need:

  • a still life display such as 3 apples, a plate, and a tablecloth (or place mat)
  • a black crayon for each student
  • a sheet of watercolor paper (or other sturdy paper) for each student

4. Lead Students in using watercolor paints to paint the apples. They should start with yellow and then add streaks of red & green. They can then paint the plate & tablecloth however they would like.

You will need per student:

  • watercolor paints & large paintbrush

5. If students finish early, have scrap paper available for them to sketch another still life scene.

6. Take a photo of each child with his or her masterpiece.

(This art project idea was inspired by .)

Some of the finished still ife paintings of apples inspired by Paul Cezanne
Some of the finished still ife paintings of apples inspired by Paul Cezanne

Looking for All My Lessons?

© 2018 Shannon


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