Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Variety... James Rizzi Style

Medium: Watercolor

Reason for the Lesson: To discover the use of shape, line, color and space and to explore a 'living' artist and create their own artwork inspired by the artist James Rizzi.

Prep Time: 30 minutes or more to research information on the artist James Rizzi.  There are websites on James Rizzi and other teachers who have also taught James Rizzi concepts. 
Preparation prior to class:  Become familiar with James Rizzi the artist. Explore his work and develop a power point show to showcase samples of his artwork. Class Time:  2 hours - you will want to break this lesson down into two sessions could take some students longer to complete than others.

Materials: 12x18 water color paper, black sharpies, water color paint, small brushes and large brushes. 

Instructions to Lead Lesson:  Open with a discussion about the artists.  Here is information I used to introduce James Rizzi to the students.  
  • James Rizzi was born in 1950 in Brooklyn NY. Rizzi could be the most famous living artist.
  • He studied art in Florida (Gainesville), where he started experimenting with printing, painting and sculpting.
  • Know as ‘the guy who draws the buildings with faces’
  • Sometimes he is known as the ‘guy who draws those birds'
  • James Rizzi has created hundreds of prints, paintings and drawings AND he has put his art on lots of other 3D things like---buildings, sculptures, airplanes, cars the German government have used his art on stamps.
  • Rizzi’s work often shows his birthplace New York. His paintings look sometimes childishly naive, with the bright colors and fun.
  • In the art magazines and books Rizzi is often described as "Urban Primitive Artist '. Rizzi himself says he is influenced by Picasso, Klee and Dubuffet.
  • People who collect his work are fans and they flock around him like he is a rock star.
Show some paintings of Rizzi and discuss the characteristics of his art.
  • bright colors
  • no gradations within colors
  • everything is outlined with a black marker
  • houses have human faces/characteristics the artwork is full and busy 
  • background is full too
Students begin by drawing a house in Rizzi style, a house with human characteristics like clocks, faces limbs, eyes etc. It must be a house, that means students must not draw a square human being!

This can be done by drawing basic elements of a house in any case, like windows, doors etc.

Color the house with watercolor on water color paper. Outline the details with black fine marker. Cut the house and outline it with a black marker.

Draw things in the air: stars, a moon, globe, hot air balloon, ufo's etc. Look carefully at Rizzi's paintings to discover what he has made.

To make a group work, every student has to draw one house at least.

Credit: Deep Space Sparkle

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