Students draw a cow on A3 paper to mostly fill the paper. Colour it in a chosen breed. We used the Discover Dairy website to help choose: Cow Breeds Interactive We used water soluble pastels to colour then painted with water to give it a painted look. Food dye wash for sky and grass.
On A4 paper draw the cows four stomachs and label, making sure it will fit inside the cow’s stomach that they drew. Cut a flap in cow (I did this for them with a scalpel knife (Stanley knife)- basically a “U” shape, so you can see the stomachs stuck behind when you lift the flap.
The background with the moon- is on black or grey paper, (you could flick with white /fluro yellow paint for stars) A large circle is traced on the lower half of the black card (cover paper)
To make the moon- use foil giving it a bumpy texture by gluing some cotton balls on the back, turn over and then press the surface, use a paint marker to draw around the spots. Students do one cut in from the edge of the black paper to cut out the circle so the black paper is left with a hole. Glue it over the top of the foil to make the moon.
Students used a half A4 paper (B5 size) to draw a rectangle for the body of the cow. They draw and cut out the head and legs to then assemble on the top half of the black paper with it’s legs out stretched like it is jumping over the moon!
Students used a combination of materials to make these Peter Diem inspired models.
To make a model of a Diem cow with clay with bright colours and texture.
I can make a model of a Diem cow using air dry clay and paper clay, forming a body and head inspired by Peter Diem cows.
For the head, I can cover a cork with coloured paper clay (Model Magic) adding a mound for the head with wiggly ears.
Air dry clay was used to form the body. Students formed a small pinch pot into a rounded shape, pulling and shaping legs so that it would stand.
A champagne cork was covered with paper clay (Crayola Model Magic) to form the head, long snout and ears)
Flatten out small pieces of coloured paper clay (Crayola Model Magic is perfect) and join together in a colourful “blanket” to then wrap around the cork, covering everything except the flat round bottom.
Form a flat square shape that will cover the end of the cork for the snout /nose of the cow. Join /blend edges with the other clay. Push a pencil in to make indents for nostrils.
Mold some more coloured paper clay into a shape like a wrapped lolly- round in the middle and two pieces at the side to form into wiggly ears. This is joined onto the top part of the cork and smoothed down, shaping the ears at the side. Add small balls with dots of another colour for eyeballs to press into the raised head mound.
Once the body is dry, use small amount of coloured Model Magic / paper clay to form small shapes and lines to press onto the body, adding colour and TEXTURE as it will be slightly raised from the surface.
Use some Model Magic to join the head to the body, checking it lines up with the legs in a frontal view and is forward to the front of the body in a side view.
Self Evaluation: (we used Seesaw and students added photos of their completed cow digitally)
Peter Diem (born 1945) is a Dutch artist well known for his expressive use of colour and texture in his art. “He gained worldwide fame because of his vivid paintings and lively, colourful representations of Dutch cows.” We viewed the Peter Diem – Cows website for examples of his artworks and discussed the elements of art Diem used to make them: colour, line, shape, texture, space.
To learn about the Dutch artist Peter Diem, who paints cows in an abstract expressionism style. To explore Diem’s techniques when making his artworks, so I can be inspired by colour line and texture when adding details to my abstract cow.
To be able to describe the elements of art in Peter Diem’s artwork.
To be able to identify the materials and techniques Peter Diem uses.
I can describe a Peter Diem cow using the elements of art (colour, line, shape, space texture)- art response /Seesaw activity.
I can identify the techniques Diem uses to apply paint.
I can follow guided instruction to draw the shape of a peter Diem cow.
I can use expressive colours, lines and shapes on my cow.
I can choose a contrast colour for the background of my cow picture.
I can add details and texture to my cow by adding puffy paint lines and shapes.
I can describe the materials and techniques I used when making my Diem style cow.
Students viewed and discussed Diem’s cow artworks on his website. They were then given a task where they described the elements of art thy noticed in a cow painting. I used a Seesaw activity for them to respond. Here are some student examples:
We viewed some videos of Diem in action to learn about his materials and techniques, noting how he draws the cow, and methods of applying paint- brush, finger, hand, straight from the tube.
Students are shown how to draw a simplified cow, Diem style – just the outline-in the shape of a Diem painting. Students then outline in black or a dark colour crayon or pastel.
Use bright and fluorescent oil pastels to add lines and shapes and patterns, considering the features of Diem’s work. It is then painted over to fill the gaps and a contrast colour painted for the background.
The next lesson we made puffy paint with PVA glue, shaving cream and food colouring in a zip-lock bag, and mushed it around to mix the 3 ingredients. A TINY bit of one corner of the bag is cut off to enable squeezing out fluid lines of puffy paint! They could outline or add lines to their design for amazing TEXTURE.
Once complete, students reflect on their work noting (circling or highlighting) materials (mediums) and techniques they used when making their Diem style cow, as well as the best thing, and what they might change if repeating the piece.
Our school was doing a “Discover Dairy” inquiry unit and so we were making lots of artworks of cows! The inspiration for this lesson was from “paper paintings” of cows by Elizabeth St Hilaire (Nelson)
“Paper Paintings” by Elizabeth St Hilaire
The students looked at some St Hilaire’s “paper painted” cows and inferred the techniques and materials they think she used.
We watched a couple of videos with Elizabeth St Hilaire talking about her materials and showing the techniques she uses.
The students then chose a photo of a chosen breed of cow to crop to a square to use for a reference to make a realistic drawing and get the shape and colouring right.
They drew a grid on the photo (digitally) then ruled up a larger piece of paper to enlarge each part of the drawing of the cow’s head.
Next they used the photo as a reference to mix paints to match to do an underpainting and make some painted paper.
The painted paper was used to collage over the “underpainting”
Full lesson plan (we took 4 one hour lessons to complete the artworks and evaluate) with learning intentions, success criteria, Victorian curriculum links, lesson steps, links to useful videos, and student self-evaluation sheet is on my TpT shop.
I have done this lesson a few times over the years when the students are working on the inquiry topic of natural disasters in their classroom. In Australia we have had many devastating bushfires and there are always plenty of news stories and many images to view on line. After viewing images we discussed the intensity of the colour of the fire with trees, buildings etc silhouetted against it.
To depict a bushfire scene with silhouetted trees, building frames, etc.
I can use warm coloured paint using techniques of blending brushstrokes, dabbing etc. for a fire background.
I can use edges of cardboard to make marks on the fire background to represent silhouettes of trees, fences and building frames, etc.
We looked at two artworks, one historical and one contemporary and students completed a comparison. (Look at the title and artist, the year the painting was made, the perspective, colour, texture, realistic/abstract, details, shapes, objects, space, etc.)
Students began by using red and yellow paint and painting the entire paper, mixing in on the page to make orange. Even at thus stage of the process there are so many variations in the ‘fire’ including how much they used of each colour, and the brush strokes or dabbing effect.
Once the background was reasonably dry they used cut up rectangles of cardboard iv varied lengths (like a cereal box, as long as it is not too flimsy once dipped in paint) and a few of those thin wooden blocks you get with canvases. I put out plates of black paint on the tables so they could dip the edge of the cardboard in and use it to stamp on ‘lines’ to represent trees, fences, burnt building frames. They could also scrape the card to spread the paint or scratch into the wet for various effects. At the end I added some white paint to the leftover black to use for smoke- a suggestion to students to dab the brush fairly dry before applying. The end results were so varied and powerful.
View portrait of Dora Maar painting by Picasso. Discuss the colours used and the different views of the face. Next, view Weeping Woman 1937. Note the colours and emotion on the faces (Explain Picasso drew and painted a series of “Weeping Woman” in response to the Spanish Civil war and the loss and devastation- these portraits portraying a mother who has lost her child in the bombing, using colour and expression to convey feelings of anguish, horror, deep sorrow and mourning.)
Students can compare these two portraits of “Weeping Woman” by talking about the similarities and differences.
Students are shown how we can draw a Picasso face by playing “Roll a Picasso” game to choose different features. They draw some faces in their Scrap Books.
Next lesson, students choose two emotions they would like to show on either side of the face, choosing some features from their Roll-a-Picasso drawings to suit the feeling. Students draw in grey-lead pencil, firstly drawing a face shape or using a template to trace. After making a mark in the middle of the face students choose a nose to draw down from that point, then adding the line continuing up to the top of the head and below the nose to split the face in two. They add eyes, mouth hair etc. Trace over in black marker.
Talk about colours that could represent emotions. For example, yellow=happy, sad=blue, red=angry, green=calm, purple=confused. Students paint their faces in a colours to match the emotion shown on each half.
Background can paint or food dye “wash” . Students describe the emotion on each side of the face along with colour chosen to match.