Painting Like the Greats

by Lisa Lauffer

Imagine your student shading her drawings as daVinci shaded the Mona Lisa, painting in bright swaths of color as Van Gogh painted The Starry Night, and sketching mathematical renderings as M.C. Escher sketched Ascending and Descending. Your child’s ability plus inspiration plus exposure to the masters’ techniques could equal painting like the greats!

Painting Like the GreatsFor GHF Online’s fall 2015 semester, I will teach Painting Like the Greats. In this class, students will learn about art masters such as da Vinci, Van Gogh, and Escher, including where they fit into art history, their gifted attributes, and the techniques they contributed to the art world. Students will then experiment with those techniques to develop their own artistic abilities.

How can we accomplish this in an online class? With GHF Online’s access to the Electa online classroom platform, teaching an online art class is easier than ever. For each class session, students will log into the Electra classroom, which accommodates the teacher and all of the students on video simultaneously, allowing for me to demonstrate techniques and students to share their work with me and each other.

Students generally spend the first fifteen minutes of class sharing the artwork they did during the previous week, exhibiting their learning. At this point, students and teacher alike can give each other feedback, praising what was done well and giving positive direction for how good artwork can become even better.Painting Like the Greats

We follow the sharing with teaching about the master we are studying. Using the screen sharing application of Electa, I present a slideshow via Google Drive that will educate the students about that master, his life, his giftedness, and the masterpieces he contributed to the world.

The end of the slideshow includes examples of the technique we are studying that week as exhibited by that master’s work. Then I describe and demonstrate the technique for the students via video. The Electa classroom allows for students to indicate they have questions via a raised hand icon. Because I am a teacher who encourages interaction, I am grateful for this tool as well as the ability to see everyone on camera at one time.

Painting Like the GreatsStudents spend the remainder of the class experimenting with the technique I’ve demonstrated, using their own supplies at home. This gives them the opportunity to try the technique and ask any questions they may have. They leave the session encouraged to continue their experimentation between classes, finishing the project we began in class and creating more pieces if they would like. If they have questions between classes, they are always welcome to email me or interact with me via the Google Classroom tool. They also submit photos of their finished work via those online venues.

At the end of the term, we will host an online gallery exhibition of whichever art pieces students want to share with each other and their parents.

I hope to see your kids in my online classroom this fall for the adventure of Painting Like the Greats!

To register for this or other GHF Online classes, please go to http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/ghf-online/class-schedule/. GHF Supporting Members get 10% off their first class.

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