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How to Teach Texture with Winslow Homer: An Art Lesson for Early Elementary

Updated on November 17, 2018
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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 8.

Texture & Winslow Homer Art Lesson for Early Elementary
Texture & Winslow Homer Art Lesson for Early Elementary

This is the 11th lesson in a series of 30 hands-on art lessons for Kindergarten, 1st, & 2nd grade. This lesson focuses on texture inspired by Winslow Homer. I used this plan while teaching a weekly 45 minute art class for children in Kindergarten, 1st, & 2nd grades. 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!

Texture & Winslow Homer Introduction

1. Use the paintings in Winslow Homer by Mike Venezia to focus on what he did to show texture in his seascape paintings. Quickly review his life and ideas while flipping through the book.

You will need:

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

Winslow Homer (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists)
Winslow Homer (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists)

This is the book we used for our lesson. My children and students love this series of books by Mike Venezia! He's done a wonderful job of combining a good assortment of Winslow Homer's paintings with some fun cartoons drawn by the author about Winslow Homer's life and art style. The book covers Winslow Homer's entire life and artistic ideas, and it is perfect for this age group!

 
High Cliff, Coast of Maine by Winslow Homer, 1894
High Cliff, Coast of Maine by Winslow Homer, 1894 | Source

Making Observations About High Cliff, Coast of Maine

2. Show the students High Cliff, Coast of Maine by Winslow Homer. Ask:

  • What do you see?
  • What you do think the rocks feel like?
  • What did Winslow Homer do to make them look that way?
  • What colors do you see in the ocean?
  • Does the ocean look calm? Why not?
  • What did Winslow Homer do to make it look that way?

You will need:

  • a copy of High Cliff, Coast of Maine by Winslow Homer (such as the one in the book by Mike Venezia)

Textured seascapes inspired by Winslow Homer
Textured seascapes inspired by Winslow Homer

Creating Textured Seascapes Inspired by Winslow Homer

3. Have students recreate a similar seascape. We will be adding texture by painting with sponges and cotton balls and by adding coffee granules and salt to some of the paint.

  • Pass out a half sheet of turquoise or blue card stock, a piece of sponge, & a bit of brown paint on a small palate.
  • Give each student some coffee granules & have them mix it into the brown paint.
  • Have students use the sponge to dab brown paint onto a corner of the paper. Make sure to dab like a stamp rather than drag like a paintbrush.
  • As they do that, add black paint to the palate.
  • Have students use the same part of the sponge to now dab black paint around and next to the brown paint. Do NOT flip over your sponge to the other side, as that will be used for the blue. Make sure to completely cover the outside edges. No blue should show through.

  • As students do that, add small amounts of blue, green, and yellow paint to the palate. Pass out salt to each student. Have them pour the salt over these 3 colors.
  • Flip the sponge over to the other side. Use the sponge to mix in the salt into the paint.
  • Use the blue, green, & yellow paint to dab in the ocean water. Do NOT have it touch the black and brown paint. Leave that space for the white foam.

  • As students do this, pass out a cotton ball & white paint.
  • The cotton ball is only for the white paint. Dab it into the white paint & dab it between the blue ocean water and black and brown rocks. You can even splatter and add some on the rocks and in the ocean if you'd like. Make it thick. Don't drag it like you're using a paintbrush. Dab and plop it around.
  • Does your painting look stormy? If not, you can add to it. Always make sure to dab, not drag.

You will need per student:

  • a half sheet of turquoise or blue card stock
  • a sponge (I used cleaning sponges from the Dollar Tree & cut each sponge into 5 strips.)
  • a cotton ball
  • tempera paint: brown, black, blue, yellow, green, & white
  • a small amount (about 1/2 tsp.) of coffee granules
  • a small amount (about 1/2 tsp.) of salt
  • a palate (such as a small paper plate)

Textured seascapes inspired by Winslow Homer
Textured seascapes inspired by Winslow Homer

Photos & Free Designs

4. Pass out sheets of plain white copy paper. Allow students to create their own works of art using the remaining paint.

You will need:

  • white computer paper

5. While students work on their own works of art, take photos of each student with their seascape masterpiece.

Winslow Homer-inspired textured seascape by a 5 year old
Winslow Homer-inspired textured seascape by a 5 year old

Winslow Homer: American Artist by CBS

Looking for All My Art Lessons?

(I'll be posting a new lesson each week.)

© 2018 Shannon

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