Woody Guthrie Elementary School Curriculum
here for text only version
LINE | SHAPE | COLOR | PERSPECTIVE
created beauty with simple lines. When he chose to use color, surprising
fuschias could streak across grasses and green could blush people's
embellished his writing notebooks with color, at times enriching
the poetry, prose or lyrics written in black on the page, at times
creating a presence of its own among the strength of Woody's words.
on the developmental age of the children, the use of color is often
unrealistic, like Chagall or Picasso. The paintings chosen for this
lesson fall into that genre.
a Hat and Scarf" evokes a smile with its jaunty placement of the
hat and oppositional use of yellow and green (right hand yellow,
left hand green; left scarf green, right yellow.) Children may be
surprised with the way Woody used wide stroke of yellow on the face,
criss-crossed by thinner streaks of green on the right half of the
face. The affect is lovely and young artists may be freed to use
color in creativeways. The
body is not fleshed out but consists of fast, angular green with
a dash of yellow.
lines in "House and Tree, Mountain in Background" leave lots of
room for color. Fuschia hugs the grassline suggested at the bottom
of the page and is echoed high in the sky.
whole group for an art chat. Look at these two paintings by Woody
Guthrie. What surprises you about the use of color in "Man with
a Hat and Scarf"? How did Woody portray the torso using color? How
is the color green used in this painting? Which areas stand out
because of color and which areas are left empty? Why do you think
this is? How is yellow used in this playful portrait? What feelings
do you get when you look at this picture? How do these colors feel?
Why do you think Woody limited himself to two colors?
you like best about the way Woody used color in "House and Tree,
Mountain in Background?" This is another example of when Woody limited
himself to two colors. How did Woody use the fuschia and green together?
Where did he place the fuschia by itself? How do you think he blended
the colors in this landscape? On the color wheel, where do red and
green fall in relation to each other? What affect do light and dark
to choose either a person or place they would like to portray. Provide
black paint for the basic lines and shapes and complete the picture
in a single session, returning to it during another session to add
color. Limit students to two colors, mirroring the techniques used
in "Man with a Hat and Scarf" and "House and Tree, Mountain in Background."
all the paintings and discuss in terms of color. Revisit some of
the questions used in relation to Woody's work.