Tuesday, January 3, 2012

O'Keeffe Inspired Close Ups

Fourth grade students were my target for these interesting oil pastel drawings 
(Though 2 of the classes were 4th/5th and 3rd/4th splits - the majority were 4th graders)

A class period was spent giving students some background information on Georgia O'Keeffe. She is one of my favorites and I was pleasantly surprised at the student's attentiveness and interest in learning about her. I have a wonderful book that is great for these upper-elementary students - My Name Is Georgia by Jeanette Winter.  I also have put together clips onto a dvd from an old video I have with pictures of her works. The students love seeing her on the video and listening to her talk about her life and art. I allow students to comment and discuss and ideas about her works as we look at them. I concentrated on putting many of her close-up views in the dvd because that is what we were going to focus on.

The last 10 minutes or so of class I explain the project to the students. I showed them magazine pictures that I had collected of animals and plants. I also show students viewfinders that were cut from index cards.  We discussed how we were going to take an image and blow it up to a larger size. They would only be drawing what was inside of their viewfinder.  If time remained I plopped a pile of magazine pics on each table and allowed students to choose their image and play around with the viewfinders to find interesting areas of the picture.
The next class students decided exactly where they were going to place their viewfinder and taped it down to the magazine paper. I gave students a quick demo on how to start to enlarge the image onto their papers (which were about 12x15). I showed them how to mark their viewfinder and paper off into quarters (not quite a whole grid method - just a simplified start of one) and use these guide marks to see where lines and shapes should be placed on the paper.

See More of these on the Roosevelt Artsonia Site.

It took most students 2-3 classes to draw out and use the oil pastels to complete the works. I'm very pleased at how these turned out. I do have one more added part to this project that will involve writing and an iPad app -but I'll save that for another blog post!


  1. Love these. Your 4th graders did a great job.

  2. Fantastic! I've, for some reason, never thought to do Okeeffe in this way. I've got my next 6 weeks planned out, but this is definitely on the docket for after that!