Todd’s students create collages based on ancient Japanese painting


If you have ever used the Water Wave emoji, you have used an emoji based on a famous work of art. The Great Wave off Kanagawa (also known as “Under the Wave off Kanagawa”) by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai is one of the most recognizable Japanese artworks in the world.

The painting, located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is a woodcut and depicts a large wave with fishing boats in the center and Mount Fuji in the background.

Recently, fifth-grade students from That of Erin Wilson and Kathleen Godleski classes created collages inspired by this painting in Paul Villanuevais the art class.

Using two sheets of white paper as two panels, the students drew waves with a pencil and added objects, such as a surfer or a sailboat, in the middle of the drawing. They also drew objects in the background.

“This project is about perspective,” Mr. Villanueva told the students. “Some objects will appear larger in the front and in the back they will appear smaller. You are playing with the distance of different objects.

The students meticulously drew waves of different sizes and shapes.

“You can draw multiple layers of waves in different shapes and then color them in different shades of blue. So when you cut them, you’ll have different layers of waves and that will create depth,” Villanueva told the students.

“I’m going to draw a dolphin in the waves,” said one student.

“I’m going to draw an elephant boat,” said another student with a laugh. “I’ve never seen one but I’ll try.”

After using a pencil, the students traced their drawing with a black marker and painted the image with watercolors. Then they cut out the objects and rearranged them on a larger sheet of paper and glued them.

“As you cut objects, you can move them left and right, forward and back, and that can create additional depth to the painting,” Villanueva told students.


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