Fruit Study Art Lesson

Still-Life-Study-Art-Lesson

Need a lesson where each component takes less than 15 minutes? Consider adding a mixed-media still life study to your art curriculum. I opt to teach this still-life study to older children (grades 4-6 or ages 10-12) as part of our fine arts unit and instead of only using one medium, I mix it up and allow children to create as many as four still-life studies with 4 different techniques.

These are the techniques we used on 6″ x 6″ paper squares

  • Chalk Pastel
  • Oil Pastels
  • Collagraph printmaking
  • Tempera paints

Set-Up

Use art supply boxes for risers and cover with fabric or paper. Set one box on each table so all children can view the fruit. Give each child a 6″ x 6″ square of sulphite/construction paper.

Still-life-art-project

Oil Pastel Study 

Set a tray or trays of oil pastels on each table (I like to set two trays per table. I have 6 tables). Children draw the fruit (apple or pear) and create a table line. I give little direction for this study with the exception of encouraging the children to keep the drawing large so that they can color in easily. We looked a samples of Van Gogh’s work and I suggested that they could use a similar technique to create their fruit.

Chalk Pastel Study Inspired by Cezanne

Chalk is a natural medium for creating a still-life. The colors are easy to blend and they are easy to control for a small piece of paper. Point out the areas of the apple or pear that receives the most light and the ares that receive the least light. Using dark and light pastels, have the children add the contrasts where they see it. Don’t forget to add shadows along the table top. To make the project challenging, remove all black chalk from the trays and ask the children to use complimentary colors for creating the dark areas.

Collagraph Printing inspired by Cubism

Give each child a 6″ x 6″ cardboard square (I used corrugated cardboard) and a tray of foam craft sheets. Discuss abstraction and cubism with your students and ask them to craete an abstract pear or apple with their foam pieces. Here’s how:

  • cut foam pieces into small triangles, squares and other shapes
  • glue small pieces onto cardboard
  • Once pieces are dry, use thick tempera paint (or acrylic) and a flat paint brush to apply paint onto foam surface
  • Press painted side down onto white paper

Tempera Paint Study inspired by Expressionism

My students are most familiar with tempera paints as we use them all of the time. If you would ike, you could try watercolor paints instead. The beauty of the tempera paints is that it is more forgiving than watercolor paints. The children can draw with an oil pastel or a pencil and paint the fruit in whatever style they choose. I encourage them to be expressive with their colors. Many did but some chose to go the realistic route.

Fruit-Still-Life-art-lesson
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9 comments

  1. This is a wonderful idea Patty. It allows the children to be able to express well having to try 4 different techniques. And it would also allow them to see where they are best at, or at most master those techniques especially to kids who are really into arts.

    Cheers,
    Stan

  2. lmcgowan@ffc8.org says:

    Wonderful idea:) I love doing still lives with kids, and multimedia projects:) thanks, for the great ideas!
    laurel

  3. Holly Taylor says:

    I will see you at the CAEA Conference! Looking forward to meeting you. :-)

  4. sariah says:

    I love this project! Thanks for sharing your great ideas and tips. Last year I utilized your blog constantly as a volunteer art Mom!

  5. Lucy says:

    How do you structure the timing of this great lesson?

  6. Emily says:

    http://emilyvalenza.tumblr.com/post/66396766668/this-lesson-from-deep-space-sparkle-really

    this lesson worked so well for my students- thanks for the inspiration!!

    Emily

  7. Janelle says:

    I love the idea of a series and using different mediums, so I tried it and emphasized shadow and light for my 4th grade students and when they filled out their self assessment it was unanimous that they all loved it, they enjoyed using different techniques and challenging themselves with materials that they were not necessarily most comfortable with. I especially loved the collagraph print and the students reaction to abstraction. Thank You!

  8. R.M.SOLANKI says:

    Patty Palmer, I like your lesson “Fruit Study Art Lesson ”

    thanks.

    R.M.Solanki
    Art Teacher
    Kendriya Vidyalaya ( Space Application Center ), Ahmedabad Gujarat (India)

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About Patty

Welcome to DSS. I'm an art teacher to 400 elementary kids in Goleta, California. This is where you will find a library of art lessons, handy PDF lesson plans and resources to make teaching art to kids a whole lot easier.
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