Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Finger Painted Fauvist Landscapes

I was curious to see how my finger painted Fauvist landscape experiment would play out with my 3rd thru 5th graders. I have found that as much as I may encourage, cajole, and stress that they should feel free to use a variety of colors in each space of an Impressionist landscape, when a brush is involved it's easy to over-paint, creating flat spaces of color. Let's try the cool approach of edgy Jesse Reno. ( I showed them a video of his process a week prior.) This is clearly the baby step version to his full hand Expressionist painting style. Our inspiration piece was by a contemporary Fauve/Impressionist, Konnie Kim. They really enjoyed the process of "finger painting." There is a wonderful sense of immediacy about this technique. They used brushes to complete the detail work of the trees, but otherwise it's all pointer finger power.

My try at the experiment

My experiment

I was so inspired by a post by Pamela Holderman where her class created these fabulous expressive pieces painting with their hands. This in turn led me to artist Jesse Reno that she referenced. So I have been working on a few ideas based on "finger painting."
My kindergarten and 1st graders created a Fauvist landscape today largely using only their index finger. It was based on a Fauvist piece of Cypress trees with a very straightforward composition.
It required only 2 diagnal pencil lines to map out the perspective of the landscape.( I of course explained to them that Fauve was French for "wild beast" and these artists were given that name for their bold use of unrealistic color). From there they used only one finger to "swoosh and swirl" colors, double and triple dipping to create their background. Each time they changed a color section, they simply wiped their finger with their cloth rag. (I'm working my way up with baby steps to full hand painting with my older kids.)
They were given a brush to create their trees and were encouraged to use expressive brushstrokes and several colors. They LOVED creating these pieces. One boy said it felt like a "finger massage." And it prevented solid patches of color that we were trying to avoid with this particular project. Nice work you wild beasts!


  1. thanks for leaving the kind comments!

  2. These are terrific! They remind me of paintings by... oh gosh I can't think of the name of the painter now that I'm the middle of my comment - sorry! Anyhow, great project.

  3. I just discovered your blog, and am now a follower. My friend Marie on Facebook sent me a link to your page here. I too teach art, and have found a kindred spirit. I've been looking for things to do with kindergarten students. You have inspired me. I haven't kept my blog up, but have posted some of my students' work there as well. I invite you to check it out anytime. Looking forward to seeing more ofyour entries! tHanks, bea

  4. Bea, thanks for "stopping by" and leaving your nice comments. I will definitely check out your student's work. :)

  5. Love those Mary! The colors really worked together! Great idea for those younger kids

  6. beautiful! I just loooove those shadows!


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