Wednesday, September 6, 2017

In the Art Room: Claire West-Inspired Landscape Lesson

Now that my fourth graders have made their contribution to our school-wide collaborative (details to come, stay tuned! I'm STILL trying to figure out my life, y'all) and completed their sketchbooks and their first couple of sketching tasks, it's now time for them to move on to the art makin'! I have decided to kick off the school year with landscape for all of my students. I also decided that I wanted my kiddos to learn about contemporary artists (and it so happens, all female artists!). It's with that in mind that I introduce you to the lesson I'll be sharing with my fourth grade artists: Chalk Landscapes inspired by the artist Claire West!
These drawings are my teacher examples...I had so much fun creating them, I couldn't stop! You can see the process in this video I created to be shared with my students:
Now let's take a closer look at some of Claire's work...
 Isn't her work beautiful? I love the colors! They are so rich and stunning. I knew chalk would be a good way for my students to capture that incredibly rich hue. 
I also love how her work really shows depth. What a great way for my students to learn about the horizon line, back-, middle- and foreground.
 Here are the supplies we will be using for this lesson:

* Chalk I really like Faber-Castell's chalk. It's vibrant and rich with no fillers or junk. They are my fave!

* Liquid Starch! The magical ingredient behind this amazing process.

* 11" X 17" Paper I went ahead and cut an inch off the normal 12" X 18" paper so that matting and framing will be easier in the future.

* Paint! This will come later...but we'll use a variety of colors of tempera paint. 
 This project will probably take us some time. A couple of classes for the chalk and starch...and maybe one class for painting. I'll keep you posted on our progress.
Why I am so smitten with the starch trick: no messy chalk pastel dust! No need to spray with hairspray or a fixative! No smearing! I'm so in love. Big shout out to my good friend Jennifer Avarado for sharing this trick with me.
 More landscape lessons for my other grade levels are in the works so stay tuned. I'll keep you posted here and on my YouTube channel
 Until then, happy landscaping!
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  1. So pretty. I want to teach this to my daughters

  2. Liquid starch- who knew? Yay Jennifer Avarado!

  3. Does the starch set it forever? I love Claire's work because it is so bright and happy. Your examples are great, my favorite is the first one.

  4. Could you show how to use the liquid starch with chalk?

  5. I Love Everything about this art lesson - from the starch technique to teaching foreground, middle ground and background, and of course the joyful art of Claire West. I can't wait to see your students' creations! Thanks for sharing Cassie!

  6. These landscapes are beyond beautiful! I've never heard of Claire West, but I love her! The colors are just so sweet and happy

  7. Thanks for providing good idea,Thanks for your sharing.


  8. Hi Cassie, I loved the video. i watch your channel each day when I eat my lunch. Today I did the demo for mondays class. I had so much fun. I can't wait until my Studio in Art class grade 9 tries this out. They are going to be amazed. Claire West...bravo

  9. Hi Cassie! I'm going to be going on maternity leave in March and I'm already looking for long-term-sub lessons (I'll be using a few of my old lessons because I already know how long they will take and I can prepare the sub for what hurdles they may face).
    SO I think this lesson will be perfect! Please be sure to keep us updated on how long it took and what you did each class period. That way I know what to expect for my sub if I do use it!

    Anyway, am I crazy for being terrified of turning my art room over to a sub for an extended period of time???

  10. What kind of liquid starch do you use? It's hard to find here, so I want to know it's the right stuff. Thanks!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I also had trouble finding liquid starch! So, I bought a can of spray starch and sprayed it into washed out yogurt cups. It worked perfectly!

  11. Anonymous10/31/2017

    Hi Cassie, awesome lesson! What brand of brushes do you use, I'm on the hunt for some new ones. Thank you!

  12. Hi Cassie, I love the starch with the chalk and can't wait to explore the idea! I have two questions: 1. are you working on good old 50 lb white sulphite paper or something else? 2. I have a large number of special needs students and I the feeling of the starch is going to be an issue for some of them...have you tried dipping a brush in the starch or a q-tip so the kids don't have to touch it? not sure if that will just lift off the color. Thanks so much!

  13. I'm hoping you see this and can respond. I have limited supplies, meaning no chalks. Would this be possible to do with all paint?

  14. Wow! How nice! I am really loving these paintings. Thanks

  15. Thanks for explaining CASSIE STEPHENS . Really Awesome Blog Thanks for Sharing.
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  16. After watching your video I visited the website of Claire West. She mainly uses acrylics and inks in her paintings. To incorporate chalk pastels with liquid starch is simply brilliant. I am as much awestruck with your process as I am by Claire West. Thank you for sharing this tutorial!

  17. Thanks a lot for your good job.Please keep continue sharing with us. photo editing service


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