Claud Monet was known for painting water lilies. Later in his career, he began to have trouble walking. It was difficult for him to travel out to the countryside to paint landscapes. He solved this problem by planting a garden in his back yard. He added a water lily pond to the garden. The paintings of water lilies and garden scenes are actually pictures of his back yard. Sometimes you’ll see a small girl in the picture. The girl is his granddaughter.
Students in second grade can make a water lily picture using finger paint. To make this project you will need:
- Finger paint paper or butcher paper that has plastic on one side
- Blue and yellow finger paint
- Paint smocks or old T-shirts to protect clothing
- Plastic table cloth to use for a drying rack
- Example of Monet’s water lily paintings or a picture book about Monet
Because this is an easy project, a picture book about Monet will make a good introduction. Look at several examples of his work, and notice how he used big brush strokes of color.
Pretend that the piece of paper is the pond. Smear blue paint around the page, covering the whole area. Make small swipes that look like reflections of sunlight on the water.
Next we need a lily pad. But, I only have yellow paint. How can we make a green lily pad with yellow paint? (mix blue and yellow to make green.) Look at the shape of the pad, and make a similar shape on your page. Make a large lily pad in the front, and smaller pads in the background.
Now we need to make a lily. The flowers are white. How can we make white from a blue page? (Look for a student who is doodling, and point out that they know the answer) Use your thumb to swipe petals, removing the paint to show the white paper. Begin swiping at the bottom of the petal, and swoop up to make a tapered point.
If the student isn’t happy with their efforts, point out that the paint can be smeared back to where it was, and they can try to make the flower again.
Sunshine state standards
VA.C.1.1.1 Knows that specific works of art belong to particular cultures, times and places.
- The student completely covered the page with blue paint.
- The student created texture that looks like water and reflections.
- The student mixed yellow and blue to make green.
- The student removed paint to create white.
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