This is a lesson I teach every year because the results are so beautiful! Each of the kid's drawings just turns out wonderful.
The 4/5s drew trees to complement their studies in Science class.
How can line be used creatively to make a stylized picture? How can oil pastels be used effectively? The students aimed to use line creatively and made stylized art. A focus of the lesson was color mixing, blending and layering of the oil pastel.
Day One-- (40 minutes)
1. Show images of Piet Mondrian's abstract trees. I use a powerpoint slideshow to show his art work. Discuss how he started out with realistic trees, then they became more and more abstract. Finally, his style progressed to just shapes, lines and colors... the style with primary colors which he is most known for.
2. Sketch a stylized tree with pencil. Make sure the trees branches create sections for coloring in. These lines should touch the edges of the page. Tell the students that they can draw their tree with creative lines, but to avoid drawing lots and lots of tiny branches.
3. Paint over the tree lines with black tempera paint. You might need two coats to make it nice and solid. At this point, many of the children are done with this step and can move on next period. Others will need to finish painting the next class period.
Day Two, Three and maybe Four-- (40 minutes)
4. After the paint is dry, color thickly with oil pastels in each of the white sections (negative space). Layer colors on top of each other to mix colors. Then, use your finger to smudge and blend. Show the students how they can make a color lighter by adding white or darker by adding black. Show them how to make gradations or color changes within the sections (for example blending purple and blue from one side to the other).