The Painterly Qualities of PAINT

Grade 2 students recently completed mixed media works where they first made a tempera painting of ocean and sky to which they later added drawn bridges and other drawn and collaged elements.

Ocean & Sky Mixed Media, Grade 2

Ocean & Sky Mixed Media, Grade 2

For the first step of this project, students painted an underpainting using blue, green and white tempera.  I modeled the compositional elements of ocean and sky touching at the horizon and techniques for mixing the paint directly on the paper. This method of applying and mixing paint has the potential for a variety of textures, color mixtures and opportunities for students to observe for themselves the expressive qualities of paint. 

The results were so lovely, I couldn't resist photographing the paintings before the students applied the drawn and collaged layer.

Viewing the paintings as a group below reveals the wide variety of approaches to the application and mixing of the paint ranging from smooth and controlled to bold and dynamic. 

Enjoying paint for itself . . . apart from subject or imagery . . . an appreciation for the qualities of paint in and of itself . . . the examples below taken from the student Ocean & Sky paintings show the beauty and expressiveness of paint:


Connecting to the Art World

This enjoyment of the beauty, complexity and expressiveness of paint helps me understand and feel connected to painters like Turner, Van Gogh, de Kooning and Frankenthaler (click on the links below) . . . when I look at these paintings I get the feeling that the artists enjoy the look of paint, the feel of paint, that they enjoy playing around and experimenting with paint.  I also notice that the way the paint is manipulated contributes to the message and the meaning of their art.