To start this project, we learn about the artist Claude Monet and his paintings of ponds and lilypads. We read a book about Monet:
(This series is awesome for read-alouds in class. I love the picture books about art, but I want the pictures in the book to be actual pictures made by that artist. I don't like picture books that have art created by a different illustrator. For example, if the book is about Van Gogh and none of the pictures in the book were painted by Van Gogh, the story book can be confusing to kids. Does that make sense? There are a lot of picture books out there about artists, but the artwork was done by someone else. This series of books combines cartoons and ACTUAL artworks by the artist, which I feel is so important. And this series breaks things down in easy-to-understand concepts for the kids. I always tell the kids ahead of time that the cartoons about the artist were not drawn by the artist, but by someone else.. otherwise one of the kids will raise their hands and ask, "So did Monet draw these cartoons?") Anyways...... After we read this book, we also watched the movie "Linnea in Monet's Garden". As we watch the movie, I again make sure to point out the actual pictures Monet painted.
After we learn a little about the background of Monet's artwork, we paint a watercolor picture of a pond. I show them how to use the wet-on-wet watercolor technique. Paint the paper with water first, then add wet colors of paint. We talk about cool colors and the colors they might see in a pond.
Then, we cut out lilypads from green construction paper and added little fluffs of tissue paper for flowers.