WILLIAM KURELEK – Looking at Art, Drawing from Memory

Students view and interpret the painting Fall, by Canadian artist William Kurelek. After focused looking they draw the painting from memory.

Required Time

40 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 2 to Grade 8

Subject

Language Arts
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

background colour foreground interpret middle ground shape

Materials

Projected image or reproductions of ‘Fall’ by William Kurelek, 1968 or similar picture Crayola Watercolour and Marker Paper Crayon Markers Scetchbook

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Steps

WILLIAM KURELEK – Looking at Art, Drawing from Memory - Step One

Step One

Block in the main composition.

WILLIAM KURELEK – Looking at Art, Drawing from Memory - Step Two

Step Two

Add details you remember.

WILLIAM KURELEK – Looking at Art, Drawing from Memory - Step Three

Step Three

Add colour, line and texture.

WILLIAM KURELEK – Looking at Art, Drawing from Memory - Step Four

Step Four

Compare your drawing with the painting. 

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Maintain focused looking at a Canadian painting;
  2. Interpret an artwork;
  3. Identify feelings and themes conveyed by the work; and
  4. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

Extensions

  1. Have students use the 3R’s format (Retell, Relate, Reflect) to reflect on the painting and their drawing of it.
  2. Have students apply what they have learned by doing the POSERS lesson.
    Posers

Prepare

  1. Find the image by Kurelek, or a similar one.
    Fall

Introduction

  1. Project the image of Fall, by William Kurelek or provide enough photocopies for groups of children. Make sure everyone can see the painting. The main challenge for students is to see how long they can maintain focused looking, constantly checking for information, formulating questions and figuring out answers. This is a process for developing habits of thinking.
  2. Tell students that most people only look at a work of art for about 7 seconds. Their challenge is to see if they can look for a lot longer. Not just looking, but actually seeing what is there. It's easy to start to daydream and think of other things while looking at the painting. This is a seeing game.
  3. Introduce the challenge.
     

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Maintain focused looking at a Canadian painting.
  2. Interpret the artwork.
  3. Identify feelings and themes conveyed by the work.
  4. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. First Minute:
    - Take time just to look at the painting, let your eyes and mind go from place to place looking at the details. Let questions pop into your mind as you look. 
  2. Second Minute:
    Find more questions - keep looking trying to find more questions.
  3. Third Minute:
    Try to find an answer to a key question.
    Look away. Rest your eyes.
  4. Check with students
    What did you notice? What questions did you find? How did you answer the questions?
  5. Fourth Minute:
    Look back - what is interesting? … surprising?
    Keep looking for another minute.
  6. Remind students that thinking takes time and they are getting to be very good at it!

Sharing

  1. Ask students,
    ​- What do you notice in this painting?
    What do you think it means?
    What do you see that makes you say that?
  2. Encourage students to look for evidence and make analogies and give examples as they explain how they know something about the painting.
  3. Share some of the history of the painter.
    Kurelek
  4. Ask students: How does this information affect your understanding of the painting?
  5. Once students have discussed the painting give them one more minute to memorize it, then ask them to draw it.

Assessment

  1. Observe as students draw the painting from memory. (Use sketchbooks for this if your students have them.)
    Making a Sketchbook 
  2. Once drawings are complete, students check for accuracy and detail by looking at the projected image. 
  3. Ask students to comment on what was easy, and what was difficult about drawing the painting from memory.
    - How did talking about the painting affect your ability to draw it? 

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