My 5th grade students recently learned about Henri Rousseau, a mostly self-taught French artist. While in high school, Rousseau received art and music awards, but did not shine in other academic areas. He did not begin painting seriously until he was in his forties. His choice of subject matter for his paintings was the jungle, which is an interesting choice, as he never left France his whole life. Clearly, Rousseau used his imagination in creating his paintings, envisioning ways in which jungle animals would interact. He also must have looked at scientific drawings of the animals in order to draw them correctly.
My students used their imagination and photographs for reference to create their own jungle scenes. I really wanted to use oil pastels for this lesson, but unfortunately that is not an allowed medium by Art to Remember, a fundraiser our school does to raise money for art supplies. I am really hoping all my students will have at least two masterpieces completed by our deadline, Friday, so they can choose an artwork they really like for the program.
Here are some student-created Rousseau-inspired jungle drawings: