Friday, September 24, 2010


Oh my goodness! I have had the best time teaching my art history class at co-op! I was originally worried about teaching this class to the younger age group -as art history is generally done for an older crowd, but it has been a blast!
Today, we learned about frescoes. Fresco technique consists of painting in pigment mixed with water on a thin layer of wet, fresh, lime mortar or plaster. We looked at some famous frescos from Art History and talked about why this type of painting was done. The plaster was used mainly to create better color, but we left our frescos white and we will paint over them next week. We could've mixed in powdered tempra pretty easily, but this was my attempt to keep it simple.
We used sheetrock drywall mud ($7 Home Depot) and sheetrock (salvage places often have broken pieces pretty cheap). Our sheetrock was 2 x 2 feet so they are pretty large (sorry parents). We could quickly see how hard it was to paint fine details! And how difficult it would've been to have our plaster substance colored already and control the design, keep it from mixing. We kept our image simple and ended up kind of finger painting it on. It was pretty messy!

Keeping the image simple really helped, so we did a simple tree. We used the drywall mud to do the trunk and branches and next week we will finish them up by painting them.

This is my finished tree - the thick mud makes a neat effect when paint is used sparingly to show the bark. Doing this hands on project really helped them to see how very difficult it was for Michealangelo and other painters who did this on the ceiling! We talked about how it probably dripped all over them, yuck!

I can't wait to see the finished products! It is really neat for me to teach this class focusing on the artist's process, techniques, and tools. What an awesome way to learn about art history and appreciate art!

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