Cherry Blossoms

Today I taught a class about creating depth using shadows and highlights using a VanGogh composition as our inspiration.

I was going to save this project for later, but the cherry trees are blooming in February this year. We skipped winter here in North Carolina and went right to spring, so I thought we should paint them while we see them!

Here is the demo that I did in class...

First, students painted their canvas with a medium blue hue. Then I gave them dark blue and white and asked them to mix the paints right on the canvas to see what happens.

I showed them a painting I'm working on for a set. In this window and gate, I blocked in the shape with a medium gray. I then chose a darker gray to block in the shadows, and then I got a clean brush and painted the highlights.

We went back to our canvases and I gave them a medium gray to block in their branches. Then they mixed a darker gray to paint in the shadows, then they took white and added highlights.

For the final touches, students mixed red and white to create a pink color and then used red, white, and pink to create their cherry blossoms.

All the variations are beautiful! I should mention this class has an age range from 8 to 14, so lots of levels here. Everyone tried something new and learned a little more today.

and this student takes the cake for a very abstract interpretation of cherry blossoms:

I'm heading over to STP this afternoon to hang them in the hallway. If you're close by, come take a walk down our cherry blossom lane!

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