Description of the Unit –
Students will practice a variety of painting techniques (including color mixing and brush effects) for acrylic painting, practicing these for various effects. Students will then choose a nature postcard to use as a reference for their own painting. Students will eventually create at least two different paintings in acrylic of two different nature scenes, trying to use the techniques learned to recreate specific textures and effects.
Activity statement –
Like all painting mediums, acrylic has its own way of behaving, and it helps students when they can practice various techniques with it before creating a painting in order to understand its behavior. Demonstrating to students an array of different acrylic painting techniques (including color mixing and brush effects) will also help them develop approaches to achieve specific looks in their work. Acrylic works well in nature and animal studies and will challenge students as they try to express such things as tree bark, grass, a waterfall, or animal fur.
Goals – Students should…
- What is meant by color mixing, and why it is important to painting especially in acrylic and oil mediums
- What is meant by brush effects
- How to recreate basic acrylic painting techniques as modeled by the teacher (including color mixing and paintbrush effects)
Be able to:
- Apply acrylic painting techniques in a nature or animal study
Objectives – Students will: Use acrylic painting techniques to render two nature studies.
Resources and materials –
- Thick white paper
- Acrylic paint in a variety of colors
- Paint brushes in various shapes and thicknesses
- Cups for water
- Paper towels
- Table cloths
- Postcards of nature and animal photos for student reference (I used these of US national parks)
- What effect does (a given technique) produce? Why would you use it? (To be discussed during demonstration of each technique)
- How would you mix acrylic paint to get lighter shades? To get darker ones?
- How can you use brushstrokes to make your painting more realistic?
- How might you represent areas with shadow?
- How might you represent areas with highlights?
Evaluation – Did students…
- Understand how acrylic painting techniques create specific effects?
- Noticeably apply these techniques to their compositions?
- Try using certain effects to create a realistic design?
- Student questions
- Group discussions
- Oral responses to essential questions
- Technique practice sheet
- Two finished acrylic paintings
- Elaboration and risk-taking