ABOUT THE MONA LISA
Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa using soft outlines and heavy shading, which is a hallmark of Renaissance portraits. No one knows for sure who the Mona Lisa is a portrait of. The best guess is that she was an Italian noblewoman named Lisa Gherardini. This painting is so
valuable, that it is displayed in Paris under bulletproof glass!
Our version of the Mona Lisa focuses on creating value using charcoal pencils. So the kids are asked to think of areas of light and areas of shadow. We’ve also used a bright contemporary landscape as the backdrop to make it lively and more appealing for the age group.
Medusa is a monster from ancient Greek mythology. Instead of hair, her head is covered with living venomous snakes. According to legend, Medusa was a beautiful mortal who flaunted her good looks even in the face of the great Roman goddess Athena. As punishment for her brazenness Athena plagued Medusa with a hideous appearance and venomous snakes for hair! 😳 The myth was that anyone who looked at Medusa would turn into stone. Medusa was killed by the Greek hero Perseus. Many of my little artists were familiar with her and the legend so they really got into creating her likeness today!
This year in recognition of Republic Day the Picassos painted a beautiful scene of our national birds in their natural habitat... the Caroni Swamp and they got to choose how they wanted to compose the scene and practiced drawing the birds in different positions. They also created colorful sunset skies since these birds come out in the evening to show off their bright plumes!
The Hall of the Bulls is a large hall inside Lascaux Cave. Massive drawings of bulls, some 18 feet long, stampede along the walls.
ABOUT LASCAUX CAVE
In 1940 a cave was discovered by teenage boys in southwest France. When they entered the cave, they were surrounded by paintings on the walls and ceilings.
The paintings are estimated to be 17,000 years old. Most of these prehistoric paintings are of large animals, such as horses, cattle and bison, and were painted with black, red and yellow mineral pigments.
The Stone Age people were able to see in the cave with the use of lamps made out of stone. Over 100 prehistoric lamps have been found in Lascaux Cave.
We recreated the look of these stone walls by creating texture and using tones that may have been found on its surface.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in England that was likely built between 3000 and 1520 BC. It is made of stones that are each about 13 feet hight and 7 feet wide. The stones are arranged in an inner and outer circle.
Each stone weighs around 25 tons, which is as much as two school buses! No one knows how the Neolithic people moved the huge stones to the area or how they were able to arrange them in the post-and-lintel construction.
Another mystery is why Stonehenge was built. Some theories are that it was a burial ground, religious place or used for predicting when the seasons would change. What do you think?
Our art piece today is smaller than our typical size and this means the kids had to adjust the scale of their drawings accordingly. They used watercolours to complete this simple but striking rendition of one of history’s great wonders!
ABOUT EGYPTIAN HIPPO SCULPTURES
With the Nile River running through their land, ancient Egyptians were familiar with hippopotami. Their art included small sculptures of hippopotami.
The most famous is this statuette of a hippopotamus (popularly called "William") was found in a tomb and is now housed at the MET Museum. It was molded in faience, a ceramic material made of ground quartz. Beneath the blue glaze, the body was painted with lotuses. These river plants depict the marshes in which the animal lived, but at the same time their flowers also symbolize regeneration and rebirth as they close every night and open again in the morning.
The seemingly benign appearance that this figurine presents is deceptive. To the ancient Egyptians, the hippopotamus was one of the most dangerous animals in their world. The huge creatures were a hazard for small fishing boats and other rivercraft. The beast might also be encountered on the waterways in the journey to the afterlife. As such, the hippopotamus was a force of nature that needed to be propitiated and controlled, both in this life and the next. Only one of the legs in the statue is original, the other three are modern day restorations and it is believed that they were broken on purpose to protect the tomb’s owner in the afterlife.
Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics of our clay molding but I’ll definitely get them painting and decorating them in our next session.
In recent years, food trucks have grown in popularity. Food trucks used to only serve the working class outside of construction sites and big businesses. In Trinidad of course our staple food truck sells Doubles but you can find food trucks selling a variety of tasty food options from empanadas and tacos to rice and beans with Jamaican Jerk meats!
Today, food trucks can be found in most cities, serving a wide variety of food. People of all ages can enjoy stopping for a unique meal at a food truck. Food trucks are even being hired to serve food at weddings! Have you ever eaten at a food truck?
After doing a directed line drawing of the truck, they started planning out what they were going to sell and his they wound design their display!
They had to make the most of their limited advertising space to attract customers and of course be sure they got the information they needed.
For Father’s Day this year the Picassos were challenged to create portrait of dad but using only coloured paper, scissors and glue! No pencils, no paint! 😳
This was soooo much fun! They went to town cutting shapes and I have to say I just love the results!
Happy Father’s Day!
In our last class we talked about whales! The intention of this project was to engage the imagination. What floats on the surface of the ocean? How big is the whale compared to the vessel? Of course they also got some hard facts to work with so we took on a short documentary on different types of whales... they learned some pretty cool facts and of course of things we were familiar with from before.
This piece also gave them the opportunity to play with creating tints and shades as the water appears to get lighter as it gets closer to the surface.
For Indian Arrival Day this year the Picassos and I talked about why the Indians came to Trinidad and what that entailed.
Oue art piece focuses on an Indian woman working in the cane fields. They had to focus on texture here and of course the challenge was to draw and paint the human form.
I think they did a terrific job!
Be a fly on the wall in our art room! Take a look at what we do, how we do it and the smiles that I get to see week after week :)