2nd grade is learning about the Carnival of the Animals in music class with Mr. Kamp. The Carnival of the Animals is a series of songs about different animals. Mr. Kamp and I thought it would be fun to carry some of the animals that they are singing about over into my classroom. A lion is one of their songs so I thought learning about Henri Rousseau and his exotic lions would be a good project!
Henri Rousseau was a French Post-Impressionist painter who didn't take up painting until he was in his 40s. He is most well-known for his exotic depictions of jungles. However, Rousseau had never actually left France! He had nooooo idea what a jungle actually looked like! He would paint things that he saw in museums, books, and brochures. He would also paint the vegetation that was in his backyard. Because of this, his paintings are oftentimes inaccurate such as a lion in a jungle. In reality, lions do not live in jungles. Rousseau was often criticized by critics and other artists for producing "child-like" paintings. This was largely due to never having been taught how to paint, as well as painting things that he had never actually seen in person.
We started off by learning how to draw the lion by breaking it down in simple shapes. Then we painted the lion a yellow-ish color. The next day we painted the eyes, ears, and nose using itty bitty bushes! We also learned how to dry-brush the lion's mane. Dry brushing is when you get just a little bit of paint on your brush. This leaves a "dry" look at the end of the brush stroke, perfect for the edge of our manes! The last day of the project, we outlined everything with a black crayon and glued down green leaves that I had pre-cut for the students.
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President. Apple Teacher.