Cezanne-Inspired Still Life for K and Beyond

Today my Kinders learned about Impres­sion­ist artist Paul Cezanne, and painted a still life inspired by him.  This les­son was so suc­cess­ful on so many levels!  

First, we talked about how Cezanne’s father didn’t encour­age him in his art (he wanted him to be a banker or a lawyer), but he had a friend named Emil Zola who encour­aged him to keep paint­ing.  Emil was a writer so the two friends encour­aged each other. 


We looked at exam­ples of Cezanne’s many still life paint­ings and then set up our own still life to paint from.

I explained that we’d be using our still life for inspi­ra­tion only and not try­ing to make every­thing per­fect.  Then, we talked about sketch­ing.…  keep­ing it loose and just fill­ing the page with the basic shapes.… no details and no wor­ry­ing about it being per­fect!  We prac­ticed say­ing, “Only God is per­fect!”  (I have some per­fec­tion­ists this year, so we’re really work­ing on that!)  


Next, I explained that we’d be paint­ing with­out water to clean our brushes!  We cov­ered our tables with news­pa­per and used the news­pa­per to wipe the extra paint off of our brushes when mix­ing new col­ors.  This kept the tem­pera paint nice and thick and resulted in more inter­est­ing col­ors, since the brushes never got per­fectly clean when chang­ing colors.

I also told the stu­dents we were play­ing “Hide the White Paper”, encour­ag­ing them not to leave any unpainted areas.  Most impor­tantly, I told them that I’d be walk­ing around and lis­ten­ing for “encour­ag­ing words” at their table groups.  It was so sweet to hear the kids encour­ag­ing each other as they worked! 



 I love the rich col­ors and painterly qual­ity of these still life paint­ings!  These exam­ples are from Kinder­garten, but really you could do this les­son at any grade level!

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5 Responses to Cezanne-Inspired Still Life for K and Beyond

  1. Christie - Fine Lines January 31, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    These are really lovely. I espe­cially like the sub­tle col­ors that your Ks were able to mix:))

  2. Hope Hunter Knight February 1, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    beau­ti­ful — i love a painterly still life. well done, kids!

  3. Mary February 1, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    These are won­der­ful! What a great idea to cre­ate their art with­out water. Their palettes are muted and more lay­ered because of it.

  4. TeachArtandCreate February 3, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    The “no water” idea is genius! Eas­ier to clean up and bet­ter art­work. I love the still lifes. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Tereza Crump aka MyTreasuredCreations February 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    oh, WOW!! these are great. I home­school my chil­dren and I am now offer­ing a monthly art class to other home­school­ing kids. I am no artist or even teacher, but I love it. So we are just hav­ing a great time enjoy­ing our­selves and learn­ing together. I am going to be perus­ing your blog and your ideas for sure!! thank you so much for sharing. :)

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