In the style of Gauguin, students use torn tissue paper to create a tropical island scene.
- colored tissue paper
- white glue diluted with water
- paint brushes
- 12" X 18" white paper or card stock
- Have students look at and discuss various tropical island paintings from Paul Gauguin noticing color, line and shape.
Like his friend Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin explored the expressionist uses of color. He wanted to add emotion and symbolic meaning to his art. His works often contain bold, unrealistic colors and expressive brushstrokes. Gauguin was afraid that modern techniques and tools were depriving art of emotion. He moved to Tahiti to create a new style that conveyed such passion.
When he returned to France, critics called his paintings "savage" and "barbaric," but Gauguin was proud of such comments. He felt that only a simple, "barbaric" style would capture the unspoiled people and nature he found in Tahiti. His paintings show the intense colors he used during his stay in Tahiti.
- First, draw a horizontal line across the paper to divide the sky from the ocean. Don't put the horizon line in the middle of the paper. Instead, make the sky about two thirds of the paper and the ocean only one third.
- Have each student create a ocean landscape scene with torn colored tissue paper and watered down glue. Use a paintbrush to put some watered down glue on a section of the white paper and place small pieces of tissue paper on the glue. Cover the entire paper with small pieces of torn tissue paper. Cover sky area completely with several shades of warm colors and the ocean with several shades cool colors.
- After the background is covered, use black tissue paper to create a silhouette of a landscape in the foreground of the picture including palm trees, and a sailboat or dolphin in the ocean.
- When complete, paint over the entire picture with watered down glue to make sure all of the tissue pieces are completely stuck.