This week, the elementary art class studied Georgia O’Keeffe and her beautiful oversized flower paintings.
About Georgia O’Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin in 1887. As a child, Georgia didn’t like school but she did loved her private art lessons. After high school, O’Keeffe studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago but got very sick after her first year and had to quit. Afterwards she taught art and took many classes on her own until she had enough art to have a private exhibition. She quickly developed a style that she had become known for, following her own creative heart rather than trying to please others. Her large-scale flowers, trees, and leaves that used distortion were inspired by her summer vacations to New Mexico. Georgia O’Keeffe eventually settled in Taos, New Mexico where she like to paint the red and yellow Navajo country side in particular, the flat topped mountain, Cerro Pedernal. Source
Similar to O’Keeffe we drew and painted our flowers from the perspective of a bee.
We practiced our observational drawing by drawing from live flowers from the garden. Our first step was to practice drawing something so big and overblown on scratch paper. We also practiced using our new medium, oil pastels and watercolor. We saw how the oil pastels can hold the watercolor and also how the watercolor paint will not stick to the paper where we had drawn with the pastels.
After we got the feeling of drawing large, we moved on to our fine water color paper:
Starting with the center of the flower we used oil pastels and pressed hard with pastels to hold the paint in.
We drew huge petals that went off the paper; from the bee’s perspective.
We added texture with oil pastels – dots in the middle, lines on the flowers.
We painted our petals – we used colors close to each other on the color wheel so they would blend nicely. We started with our darkest colors first and worked our way out to lighter shades. We painted the background a complimentary color so the flowers would pop.
Lastly we added the center details working dry on dry so they would stand out.
Have a great weekend!