How do artists create mood in their painting?
Students will understand how to:
- Compare and contrast two paintings.
- Describe observations from closely looking at works of art.
- Associate types of lines, color, and composition with mood, emotions, and sounds.
- Make connections between artistic choices and mood, through group discussion and individual reflection.
Students will be able to:
- Make a drawing that conveys a different mood.
- Use different kinds of lines and shading to help portray mood.
- Exaggerate lines and zoom in or out of the composition to enhance the emotion in their drawing.
Step 1: Close-looking
We will look closely at two works of art, comparing and contrasting the mood of each painting and how the artist used line, color, and composition to create the mood.
Step 2: Discussion Prompts
Look at each painting individually. Imagine if you were standing inside the paintings.
- What would it feel like if you touched it?
- What would It sound like?
- What do you see that makes you say that?
Both landscapes are observations of Charles Burchfield’s back yard, but they look very different.
- Find three things that are the same in these paintings.
- Find three things that are different.
- What is the emotion or mood of each painting?
- What do you see that makes you say that?
- How did the artist use line, color, and composition to create the mood?
- Brainstorm a list of words to describe the mood of each painting.
Examples of emotions/moods:
Charles Burchfield developed a series of lines to represent mood, emotion, and sound. These videos from the Whitney Museum provide more information about Burchfield’s use of materials and his thought processes.
From the Smithsonian American Art Museum: In Night of the Equinox, which captured a violent storm in the back yard of his parent’s home in Salem Ohio, driving rain pours from ominous clouds, and fantastical trees dance in the electrified air. The artist remembered the experience as “One of the most exciting weather events of the whole year. What we called the spring equinoctial storm. It seemed as if terrific forces were abroad in the land.”
From Charles Burchfield’s journal, describing The Insect Chorus:
“It is late Sunday afternoon in August. The child stands alone in the garden, listening to the metallic sounds of insects. They are all his world. So, to his mind, all things become saturated with their presence. Crickets lurk in the depts of the grass. The shadows of the trees conceal fantastic creatures and the boy looks with fear into the black interior of the arbor not knowing what terrible thing might be there.”
Step 3: Sketchbook Activity
Students will look carefully at the weather drawings they made from a previous lesson.
- What is the emotion or mood of your drawing? What do you see that makes you say that?
- How did you use lines, shading, or composition to help portray the mood?
Have students turn and talk with a partner:
- The mood of my weather drawing is _______ because _________and _________ (describe two artistic choices that helped portray the mood).
Students will imagine the same landscape, choosing a different mood they want to portray, and create a new drawing.
- What will you change to make a different mood? How will it look, feel, and sound?
- How will you use lines to create this mood? In which direction will your lines move? Will you exaggerate any lines to enhance the feeling?
- How will you use shading to create this mood? Will your new drawing be light, medium, or dark?
- Will your composition zoom in on the landscape or zoom out? How will this help portray the mood?
Students will look at their new drawing and write a sentence to describe the mood and the artistic choices they made.
- The mood of my new drawing is _______ because _________and _________ (describe two artistic choices that helped portray the mood).
Step 4: Writing Activity
Students will choose either their weather drawing from the previous lesson or the drawing they created with a new mood.
- What is the emotion or mood of your drawing? Write a story using this landscape as the setting or write about another time when you felt the same emotions.
Emotion, mood, composition, exaggeration
Types of Lines
zigzag, spiral, bumpy, horizontal, vertical, thick, thin, straight, curved, curly, wavy, jagged, dotted, dash, short, long, wispy, castle, crisscross
ADAPTATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
- Think about the sounds a line might make or that you might hear if you stepped inside an artwork.
- Use motions, or your body, to make lines.
- Use sounds to describe lines.
- Allow students to draw lines and shapes on an iPad or in Google classroom.
- Use the “Think, Pair, Share” strategy to partner students to help with understanding, verbalize ideas, and share their process.
ADAPTATIONS FOR MULTILINGUAL LEARNERS
- Multi-modality learning
- Total Physical Response (TPR)
- Provide visual examples
- Use repetition
- Use equity sticks when calling on students
- Utilize visuals and realia to support words and concepts
- Keeping a writing and drawing mood journal
- Creating an abstract drawing with lines and color expressing different emotions
- Using oil pastels or tempera paint to explore color-mixing, naming and describing the mood of each color
- Creating a self-portrait using newly mixed colors or imaginary colors to express different emotions
- Drawing to different types of music to express different emotions and moods (sound, movement connection)
BLUEPRINT FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING IN VISUAL ARTS STANDARDS
Literacy in the Arts
- Looking at and Discussing Art
- Developing Visual Arts Vocabulary
- Reading and Writing About Art
- Problem Solving: Interpreting and Analyzing Art
- Recognizing the Societal, Cultural, and Historical Significance of Art; Connecting Art to Other Disciplines
- Observing and Interpreting the World
Community and Cultural Resources
- Cultural Institutions
- Public Art and Design
- Online Resources and Libraries
Careers and Lifelong Learning
- Awareness of Careers in Visual Arts
- Setting Goals and Developing Career Plans
- Art for Enjoyment and Lifelong Learning
Written by Belinda Blum and Traci Talasco with support from Julie Applebaum, Senior Director, Studio in a School NYC
Patricia Hewitt, Chair, Board of Directors, Studio in a School Association
Alison Scott-Williams, President, Studio in a School NYC