Monthly Archives: May 2016

Eagle Silhouettes Inspired by John James Audubon

IMG_1804 IMG_1808

IMG_1809 IMG_1811

“The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those who sang the best.” 

-John James Audubon

John James Audubon was born in Haiti in 1785.  His father was a French sea captain and plantation owner. At a very young age he was interested in birds and nature.

When he was 18, Audubon was sent to a family owned estate near Philadelphia. He became a businessman – setting up a dry goods store in frontier Kentucky and continued to draw birds as a hobby. After hard times hit Audubon set off and an epic quest to discover America’s birds.  He lived a rugged existence, but the finished work brought him immediate success and a modest degree of comfort.  He settled in New York City.

He is most known for his major work The Birds of America which is unsurpassed as one of the greatest ornithological works ever completed. In this book he documented all types of American birds in their natural habitat with exquisite detailed illustrations.  He produced a prolific body of work that included over 435 paintings of birds.

The students in our class learned how to create a multi-coloured watercolour background with liquid watercolours. Lastly they painted the cliff and eagle silhouettes.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Projects

Water Lilies Inspired by Claude Monet

IMG_1781 IMG_1782

IMG_1783 IMG_1784

“My only merit lies in having painted directly in front of nature, seeking to render my impressions of the most fleeting effects.”

Claude Monet 

Claude Monet was born in Paris, France in 1840. When he was young he did not like being confined to a classroom and was more interested in being outside.  He filled his school books with sketches of people, including caricatures of his teachers.

Monet loved to set up his easel outside and paint his pictures en plein air.  He even had a small houseboat and would paint the scenes he saw from that view. Monet was a founder of Impressionist Painting.  Monet would use strong colours and bold short brushstrokes.  Turning away from the blended colours and evenness of classical art, he placed colours side by side to create a division of colours.  The term Impressionism comes from the title of his painting: Impression, Sunrise.

In class we used oil pastels to draw our water lily and the rocks on the bottom of our pond. Students used pink chalk pastel to blend in the petal colour and finished with liquid watercolours to create the sky and pond water.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Projects