Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Painterly Peacocks






"Miss Mary, I really want to put purple polka dots on my peacock's beak to make it beauteeeful." Hannah, 5




This week my class created some wonderful painted peacocks. I wanted them to be loose, painterly and expressive with their birds. So I had them start by using sponges to swirl acrylic paint onto their boards to create a feathery impressionistic background. While still wet they painted the body and the "eyes" of their feathers. Once the background was dry, they used oil pastels to finish the details on their feathers and finished their paintings with the eyes and beak. These works were created by girls 5-7.

On a side note, my daughter and I went to the Los Angeles Arboretum early this summer just in time for peafowl mating season. (hundreds of peafowl roam the grounds freely, descendants of the birds first imported from India by the wealthy original landowner, Lucky Baldwin back in the late 1800's.) What a treat to see the peacocks fan their feathers and literally strut their stuff trying to get the attention of the peahens. But we laughed because the females just looked bored and uninterested no matter how proud the males were of their beautiful plumage. (Insert joke regarding parallels with human behavior here ;)

9 comments:

  1. Mary these are so beautiful! I teach that grade level and I cannot imagine ever getting that quality of work out of my students! You are one heck of an art teacher and good on you!

    :)Pat

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  2. I like the idea of having the kids paint right on the wet background. I haven't ever tried that before, but now I will! Also, the colorful circles of their feathers are wonderful!

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  3. These are great. We have a peacock that roams our neighborhood (in Australia?!) and he is some specimen... but still, your kids' birds are a little bit cooler... Well done, grace

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  4. these have turned my ideas about peacock art around. : ) seriously, i've not been a fan of peacock art, not sure exactly why, but yours are much more my style. who knows, maybe i'll do my own.... unheard of!!!

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  5. Thanks so much all! Pat, just remember I teach small private classes. Teaching in a school setting is clearly another ballgame. But what a wonderful compliment! - It's greatly appreciated. Hope, the funny thing is, I adore peacock art so much I could do a different spin on peacocks every session. I look forward to seeing yours if you ever decide to do them :)

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  6. Beautiful artwork.
    Your students did a wonderful job.
    I love the colors and textures.

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  7. Those are really stunning. I wish you could teach my son!

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  8. I wish I could come watch you teach! These look fantastic and so much fun!

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  9. I love these peacocks. They're very wild and free forming. I love the bright and vibrant colors. Fun and wonderful artwork.

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