• Master Artist Assignment


                Throughout history, new styles of art have emerged, often in reaction to the previous style, or to something that was happening during that time in history.  Art documents history, just as history and culture influence art.  Many working artists use art history to their advantage.  It can be inspiring to look back at what the masters have done, to learn from their techniques and styles and perhaps gain some understanding of circumstances that may have shaped their art.  This will be the focus and goal of this assignment.

                Each student will choose an artist to research, will write an expository paper and reproduce one of the artist’s works in oil pastels.  Each student will display their final composition and make a brief oral presentation to the class. You will be graded based on the rubric on the last page of this packet.  You will self-assess and I will also give you a grade.


                Part 1: Research and write an expository paper about the life, history, culture and             work    of a Master Artist (at LEAST one page, no more than two).


                Part 2: Recreate one of the artist’s paintings in oil pastels (12” x 18” format)


                Part 3:  Present your artist to the class along with your oil pastel (~2 minutes)


    Part One: 1-2 page Research paper


    Using reference books, the internet, interviews, videos, museums and other sources, research and write an expository essay that demonstrates your research about an artist’s life, culture and historical importance, but also asks you to explain WHY you think he or she is considered a major artist of their time.  You must have a thesis* statement.   Complete the checklist (on the back of this paper) while you write your paper and hand in with your paper.  You must include a MINIMUM OF TWO SOURCES of your research.


    * Thesis example:  Henry Matisse was not only an influential artist in the early 20th century, but as one of the “Fauvists” infused his canvases with such light and color that artists today still study and copy his work.


    Important subjects to include:

    ·                     Write briefly about your artist’s life and education, biographically

    ·                     You MUST describe the original painting you chose to copy.  Turn in print or photocopy with your project

    ·                     You MUST explain why you chose your artist

    ·                     A discussion of the artist’s work including recurring themes, specific styles, color palette chosen, subject matter, and techniques that characterize the work

    ·                     Talk about the history of your artist’s era and discuss the historical/social/political/cultural influences on your artist in your opinion

    ·                     Discuss the art movement, school of art, or art period most often associated with your artist

    Part Two – Recreate a painting


    ·                     Choose one painting by your artist to replicate.  You can change the scale of the piece to fit our 12” x 18” minimum format by using the grid technique, but remember to crop proportionally.


    ·                     Select a painting that will be challenging in complexity and range of colors and values


    ·                     Match as closely as you can the color, texture and techniques used in the original work with oil pastels.


    ·                     Begin by sketching out your painting LIGHTLY in pencil then copy the artist’s use of color and brushwork as accurately as possible.


    From a book – photocopy your painting on which to draw your grid


    From the internet – print directly from webpage (make sure you have a high resolution image so it’s clear and in focus)


    One sample site to get you started:

                www.artchive.com - produced by Mark Harmon



    Part Three – The oral presentation


    At the conclusion of the project, you will present your oil pastel drawing and an informative talk about your artist and the piece you have selected to reproduce.


    The presentation will be a synopsis of your written paper.


    1.      The content of your presentation meets the criteria of the assignment in an insightful and engaging manner.  Your organization enhances the audience’s ability to understand the presentation

    2.      The speak used vivid, precise language, which includes vocabulary from the elements of art and design, in a style appropriate to the subject matter

    3.      The speaker acknowledges the audience by responding to it (clarifies concepts, acknowledges mood, makes connections)

    4.      Speaker engages the audience through a skilled use of voice, clear enunciation and varies pacing to underscore meaning.

    5.      Maintains excellent eye contact, uses effective and natural gestures, and confident posture.

    6.      Speaker uses visual aids to enhance the audience’s understanding.