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How to Teach Texture with Winslow Homer: An Art Lesson for Early Elementary

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I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

Texture & Winslow Homer Art Lesson for Early Elementary

Texture & Winslow Homer Art Lesson for Early Elementary

This is the 11th lesson in a series of 26 hands-on art lessons for Kindergarten, 1st, & 2nd grade. This lesson focuses on texture inspired by Winslow Homer. I used this plan while teaching a weekly 45 minute art class for children in Kindergarten, 1st, & 2nd grades. Each lesson includes an art concept, introductory book, focus on an artist, and a variety of art techniques to make each lesson engaging & memorable. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, homeschool, after-school program, or co-op!

Texture & Winslow Homer Introduction

1. Use the paintings in Winslow Homer by Mike Venezia to focus on what he did to show texture in his seascape paintings. Quickly review his life and ideas while flipping through the book.

You will need:

  • Winslow Homer (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia or other book on Winslow Homer
High Cliff, Coast of Maine by Winslow Homer, 1894

High Cliff, Coast of Maine by Winslow Homer, 1894

Making Observations About High Cliff, Coast of Maine

2. Show the students High Cliff, Coast of Maine by Winslow Homer. Ask:

  • What do you see?
  • What you do think the rocks feel like?
  • What did Winslow Homer do to make them look that way?
  • What colors do you see in the ocean?
  • Does the ocean look calm? Why not?
  • What did Winslow Homer do to make it look that way?

You will need:

  • a copy of High Cliff, Coast of Maine by Winslow Homer (such as the one in the book by Mike Venezia)
Textured seascapes inspired by Winslow Homer

Textured seascapes inspired by Winslow Homer

Creating Textured Seascapes Inspired by Winslow Homer

3. Have students recreate a similar seascape. We will be adding texture by painting with sponges and cotton balls and by adding coffee granules and salt to some of the paint.

  • Pass out a half sheet of turquoise or blue card stock, a piece of sponge, & a bit of brown paint on a small palate.
  • Give each student some coffee granules & have them mix it into the brown paint.
  • Have students use the sponge to dab brown paint onto a corner of the paper. Make sure to dab like a stamp rather than drag like a paintbrush.
  • As they do that, add black paint to the palate.
  • Have students use the same part of the sponge to now dab black paint around and next to the brown paint. Do NOT flip over your sponge to the other side, as that will be used for the blue. Make sure to completely cover the outside edges. No blue should show through.
texture-lesson
  • As students do that, add small amounts of blue, green, and yellow paint to the palate. Pass out salt to each student. Have them pour the salt over these 3 colors.
  • Flip the sponge over to the other side. Use the sponge to mix in the salt into the paint.
  • Use the blue, green, & yellow paint to dab in the ocean water. Do NOT have it touch the black and brown paint. Leave that space for the white foam.
texture-lesson
  • As students do this, pass out a cotton ball & white paint.
  • The cotton ball is only for the white paint. Dab it into the white paint & dab it between the blue ocean water and black and brown rocks. You can even splatter and add some on the rocks and in the ocean if you'd like. Make it thick. Don't drag it like you're using a paintbrush. Dab and plop it around.
  • Does your painting look stormy? If not, you can add to it. Always make sure to dab, not drag.

You will need per student:

  • a half sheet of turquoise or blue card stock
  • a sponge (I used cleaning sponges from the Dollar Tree & cut each sponge into 5 strips.)
  • a cotton ball
  • tempera paint: brown, black, blue, yellow, green, & white
  • a small amount (about 1/2 tsp.) of coffee granules
  • a small amount (about 1/2 tsp.) of salt
  • a palate (such as a small paper plate)
Textured seascapes inspired by Winslow Homer

Textured seascapes inspired by Winslow Homer

Photos & Free Designs

4. Pass out sheets of plain white copy paper. Allow students to create their own works of art using the remaining paint.

You will need:

  • white computer paper

5. While students work on their own works of art, take photos of each student with their seascape masterpiece.

Winslow Homer-inspired textured seascape by a 5 year old

Winslow Homer-inspired textured seascape by a 5 year old

Winslow Homer: American Artist by CBS

  1. Self-Portraits (inspired by Van Gogh)
  2. Primary Colors & Secondary Colors (inspired by Claude Monet)
  3. Warm & Cool Colors (inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe)
  4. Tints & Shades (inspired by Pierre-Auguste Renoir)
  5. Abstract Art (inspired by Wassily Kandinsky)
  6. Landscapes (inspired by Henri Rousseau)
  7. One Point Perspective (inspired by Grant Wood)
  8. Still Life (inspired by Paul Cezanne)
  9. Decoupage Jack-o'-Lantern Craft (inspired by Halloween)
  10. Lines & Patterns (inspired by Paul Klee)
  11. Texture (inspired by Winslow Homer)
  12. Turkey Crafts (inspired by Thanksgiving)
  13. Painted Christmas Tree Cards (inspired by Christmas)
  14. January Art Lessons: Weaving & Winter (colors, lines, & patterns)
  15. Snowmen Surprise (value, tints, & shades)
  16. February Art Lessons (Valentine's Day and blow painting)
  17. Paper Collages (inspired by Henri Matisse)
  18. March Art Lessons (spring butterflies, bean mosaics, & glued quilt flowers)
  19. April Art Lessons (craft stick treasure boxes, April showers, & shaving cream marbling)
  20. All of My Hands-on Lessons & Unit Studies

© 2018 Shannon