I found the artist, Tom McCracken of TR Mack Studios through a fellow art education blogger, Ms. Malone. I love his work of vibrant trees and villages that have many dots painted throughout. I was saddened to read that he died in March, 2010 so his Esty page is "on vacation." I plan on emailing his family that left the note on his Esty account and asking if they are planning on making a page devoted to his work and life. My students have really enjoyed looking at his work and are very curious about his life! We have just started his project, but they are all excited about it, and all the other grades that are coming in start class with "who gets to make those trees?!"
After looking at a sampling of TR Mack's paintings and prints, students use analagous colors to create a watercolor wash over the whole paper. I asked them to work the paint until they got rid of the lines and the colors flowed from one to another. Some did great at this, and some did well~but overall I was quite impressed!
The next class period we talked about how to draw a tree successfully. We looked again at TR Mack's examples and I showed them how you can find the letter Y in the branches, and there are never more thantwo branches at any split. I also showed them how to curve the branches if they wanted to make a tree with spiral branchs. Once the trees were drawn, I showed the kids how to use the tip of a flat brush to create a crisp line. They had predicted that we would use markers for the trees because my examples had such crisp lines! I expected the trees to take one class, but they are less than halfway done with them so next class will be finishing up the trees. Finally, they will use different sized dowels to print the circles in the background and between the tree branches.
Here is my in-progress and completed examples of this project. I can't wait to see them finished!
Thanks, Ms. Malone for the heads up on a wonderful artist!