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Artists Paint the Circus

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1 Artists Paint the Circus
First Grade Art Docent Program - Earhart Elementary School

2 In the Circus Louis Moillet [ ] was a Swiss artist who painted in the early 1900s. He often exaggerated & distorted the shapes & colors to suit his composition & express a mood. This painting was painted in 1914 Do you think he is waiting to take his magic act with the white cockatoo & monkeys through the curtains & perform? Can you find some curving shapes? What shape do you see repeated in many places? Do you see outlines in this picture? The artist used different colors to show the different shapes. What colors did he use?

3 Bareback Riders W. H. Brown [ - ] was a 19th century American artist. There’re five W. H. Browns listed in the Binghamton city directories between 1885 and He may have been one of them. Can you stand in the position like the performers? Notice how carefully the artist painted the white ruffles on the woman’s skirt by using darker color to outline. Why are the audience in the background very light in color & not as detailed as the performers? Which part of this painting attract your eyes, like the focal point?

4 Circus Max Pechstein [ ] was born in Germany and studied art for awhile in Dresden. He traveled through Europe to India, China, and Polynesia. He was interested in Oriental and primitive art. What do you think of these two daring bareback riders balanced on the backs of two white horses? Do you see several shapes and lines in diagonal directions? Can you find the black lines as to show some of the outlines? What do you think of the audience? [Simple sketchy lines] Can you describe the similarities or differences of W.H. Brown’s painting & this one?

5 Circus Georges Seurat [ ] was born in Paris. He was sketching by age 7 & entered art school at 15. He always made many drawings & careful plans before he started painting. Do you see how the audience is different from W.H. Brown’s painting? The audience here sits in neat horizontal rows quietly & dressed differently from the other people. Both Brown’s painting & this one have horses. Can you describe the similarities or differences of the horses? What do you think of the yellow & orange colors? What feeling these two colors give you? Do you see the acrobat? Do you think it is easy to do that flip?

6 The Acrobat Marc Chagall [ ] was born in Russia. He had 8 younger siblings. He loved to make fairy tales come true & created dream worlds in which delightful & unexpected things happened. He lived in the United States during the war, then lived in France. Do you think they are talking to each other? Can you see the two vertical lines on either side of the acrobat? What do you think these lines are? Can you find he arch-shaped door behind her? Do you see the 3rd person? Does the painting give you a balanced feeling?

7 Poster Ben Shahn [ ] always considered himself an American painter although he was born in Russia. He moved to New York when he was 8 years old. This poster is advertising an exhibit of Shahn’s artwork. Can you tell me the dates when the exhibit was held? Do you see the horse? The artist didn’t use any color on the horse so that we would be sure to see the funny, fat clown. Do you think the artist’s drawing himself as cartoon like clown & signing his name?

8 Clown with Black Wig Walt Kuhn [ ] was born in New York. He began his art career as a cartoonist in San Francisco in He is best known for his painting of sad clowns & acrobats. What is the crown holding in his hand? Can you describe how he sits & his arms? Can you see his black wig? Why does he has a white face? Can you describe his costume? Does he seem to be looking directly at us? The artist only selected a few & simple colors, can you name them all? Which part of the painting attracts your attention the most?

9 Examples



12 Watercolor Pencil Basic
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