Natasha Wescoat-Inspired Trees (5th)

So this lesson is VERY similar to one I did years ago - but this time instead of looking at Gustav Klimt, we looked at contemporary artist Natasha Wescoat (image to the left is entitled "Gifted")!
One of the 5th grade standards I'm supposed to teach is for students to be able to distinguish between representational, abstract, and non-objective artwork. So we looked at a variety of her art pieces and found examples of all three! For example, in her famous "jeweled tree" paintings we decided that the trees were definitely abstract.. but the "jewels" were non-objective.
Afterwards we reviewed warm colors vs. cool colors.
To get their artwork started, students began by drawing a horizon line with a black crayon and then painted the sky with warm colors and the ground with cool colors using liquid watercolor paint.
The next day I demoed how to draw swirly trees and had my students practice it in their sketchbooks first. Once they felt confident in their ability to draw the tree, they either went ahead and drew it in sharpie on their paper.. or drew it first in pencil and then traced in sharpie.
On the third and final day students finished drawing their trees if they hadn't already and then started adding their "jewels" (cut up pieces of construction paper).
Overall I really like this project! It was a great choice for our Square 1 Art project!
Inspired by my student's work!

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