Crazy Cows ~ Peter Diem inspired Year 3-4 art lesson

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.

LEANING INTENTIONS:

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.

SUCCESS CRITERIA:

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.

LESSON ACTIVITIES:

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.

Videos about Diem and his work:

Peter Diem in Het Klokhuis #1/4 ‘Cows’ (Diem sketching a cow from beginning doing a painting then skip to 1:40min to see him drawing a cow.)

Peter Diem, the painter. US Documentary by Charles Giuliano (To see Diem’s method of painting- hands, fingers, straight from tube, etc.)

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.

COLLAGE COWS ~ Inspired by Elizabeth St Hilaire. Year 5/6 art lesson.

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.

Animal Eyes: Close Up – Paula Wiegmink inspired

This lesson is adaptable to different levels and using various materials. This particular lesson was done with Year 3/4’s using the Brushes Redux App on ipads. They chose an animal and then searched for an image suitable to use, bringing it into Brushes App and using the layers, colour and brushstrokes to give appropriate textures to make it realistic. Students may need to spend some time exploring and experimenting with the various brushstrokes and using the layers before beginning!

Learning Intentions: To discuss how an artist expresses an idea to show the audience a particular viewpoint. To describe subject matter, discussing materials used and how artworks are made. To explore Brushes App to use textures, colours and ‘brushstrokes’ to create a digital picture of a chosen animal eye.

Success Criteria: I can describe an artwork, infer the techniques, materials and ideas expressed. I can use Brushes Redux App layers, brushstrokes and colours to create the look and texture of an animal eye close up, using a photo as reference.

Inspiration for these artworks came from looking at and responding to artworks by Paula Wiegmink of various close up paintings of animal eyes: giraffe, tiger, lion, elephant, owl. Paula grew up in Zimbabwe (she now lives in Western Australia) surrounded by bush and wildlife and is passionate about conservation and uses her art to raise awareness of the fragility of many species. Her paintings, ‘Tears of the Rhino’ and ‘Tears are Not Enough’ of a chimpanzee, have been used by RAGES-One Fight Unite global poster campaigns to raise awareness of rhino conservation and plight of the chimpanzees, and signed by celebrities all over the world.

I introduced the students to some artworks by the artist, Paula Wiegmink, who was born in Zimbabwe in Africa. (She now lives in Western Australia.) She developed a love of African wildlife and many of her artworks feature animals and birds, along with still life, landscapes and portraits. She has a strong passion for wildlife and through her art hopes to create awareness for endangered species and the fragility of some animals in the wild. She did an amazing artwork called ‘Tears of the Rhino’ originally for World Rhino day, and was later used for a poster for the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species (RAGES) campaign. ‘Tears are not Enough’ was an artwork of a chimpanzee, about raising awareness of animals at risk made for “One fight Unite”.

Paula stated: “They say the eyes are the ‘window to the soul’ and for this reason I always try to convey the spirit of the animal or bird I am painting through the eye.” Students viewed a series of Paula’s artworks of animal’s eyes and close ups. We discussed her passion for animals and explored the paintings with this in mind to infer what message she was trying to portray in these pieces. The children responded with ideas about connecting with the animal through looking into their eyes and messages they might be trying to pass on to us about looking after them and their habitat or environment.

Students responded to the above artworks by Paula Wiegmink. Explore ideas and artworks from different cultures and times as inspiration to create visual artworks (VCAVAE025) Explore visual conventions and use materials, techniques, technologies and processes specific to particular art forms, and to make artworks  (VCAVAV026)