Children are never too young to appreciate art. Using art history as her muse, every issue Colorbox Arts creator Monika Lin provides a project that can be done at home and incorporates a brief lesson.
For this project, Claude Monet’s impressionism is the inspiration. Using a detail from his painting ‘Seine At Rouen’ you can construct a cutout collage. The project is appropriate for ages 3-12, as it can be adjusted according to abilities.
Colored pencils or crayons
Large piece of felt or paper for background
Smaller pieces of colored felt or foam paper for individual shapes
1. Begin by analyzing the image. Note how the objects and the reflections on the water are clearly defined through specific marks. These marks are not blended together but layered or set next to one another. Separate the scene by breaking down shapes into small internal or sub-shapes rather than large pieces.
2. Draw out the scene on a piece or paper using small marks in various directions and with different colors that build larger shapes. Pay attention to how Monet altered the length and direction of his marks according to the various objects in order to create movement.
3. Use this drawing to help decide how to cut forms out of the felt or foam paper. Cutting smaller shapes will allow for more texture and interest.
4. Arrange these on the background and glue them down.
Art History Lesson
Impressionism emerged in the late 1800s. The movement is distinct in the manner in which colors are set side by side or on top of one another rather than blended. The quality of light was one of the main focuses of Impressionism and gave the majority of the paintings associated with that movement their distinct glowing quality.
Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926) focused almost entirely on the play of light on objects. He produced series of artworks that examined the various seasons, times of day, water and weather such as his ‘Haystacks,’ ‘Boats in Rouen,’ ‘Cathedrals’ and ‘Water Lily” series.
// Monika Lin is an artist and the director of Colorbox. She has lived in Shanghai since 2006 and is represented by galleries in San Francisco, New York and Shanghai. Colorbox is a studio art school for children and adults located in Xuhui. (colorboxarts.com)