Friday, February 10, 2012

Hokusai Inspired Art

PTA asked for some art for an upcoming fundraiser. My creative, mentor teacher had the brilliant idea to tie the art project into our natural disaster unit. After teaching the students about the Ring of Fire she introduced them to the works of Hokusai (1760-1849) and his paintings of Mt. Fuji. One of Hokusai's most famous painting is The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, acted as our inspiration.

The students had six steps to draw a series of lines that acted as waves. We discussed how the way Hokusai drew the waves as hands out to reach you creates the sense of movement. After our waves were sketched we outlined our drawing in black crayon. We then used a white crayon to color the snow on Mt. Fuji and the tops of the waves. The crayons act as a resist to watercolors.
Students were given three watercolors (blue, brown, and yellow) to finish their art. She talked about value and how to create different shades of blue. Not only did we discuss the likelihood that this giant wave depicts a tsunami, but the duality of nature being both beautiful and dangerous. The students did an amazing job with their paintings. I am beyond impressed with the final products.


  1. These are awesome! We studied Japan last year, and I miss teaching about it. I love the 13 Views of Mt. Fuji. These pictures are brilliant!

    Chickadee Jubilee

  2. i was so glad i learned about this it was an amazing art project!!now i can walk around and say "i saw one of Hokusai's painting's!!"