Pierre August Renoir celebrates his birthday next month and, in honor of that, TJ and I decided to do an art project that uses some of his techniques. We studied his painting, The Umbrellas, and discussed the use of shades and tints before sketching and painting our own picture.
Renoir's 'The Umbrellas'
My daughter loves doing art projects and I've been brainstorming different ways to study artists, do fun projects, and learn about art techniques at the same time. This Renoir art project combines all those things - and it's fun!
The first step is to take some time and study Renoir's painting - especially focusing on his use of the different tints and shades of blue:
Of course, there are other colors in the painting but we focused on all the different shades of blue and discussed how we could achieve a similar effect with just three colors of paint.
Learning about shades & tints
After studying Renoir's painting, we decided to take some time and practice creating gradations of light and dark shades and tints.
We started with pouring two small circles of blue paint onto our pallet (we just used some extra pieces of sturdy paper for a quick throw-away paint pallet) with a small amount of white beside one and black beside the other.
After painting one stripe of blue, we started mixing a little bit of white and blue together and painting swatches on the paper, adding more white paint to each swatch of color. Then, after cleaning our brushes, we repeated this with the black and blue paints, creating various shades of blue.
Renoir Art Project for Kids
When we'd finished creating our various shades and tints of blues, we were ready to move onto our project - using those shades and tints to create our own painting.
We started by sketching out our basic design. I decided to go with a simple umbrella and TJ chose to draw a pony.
Once the sketch was finished, it was time to begin painting. Starting with the lighter tints of blue, we painted the areas in our pictures that we wanted to highlight. After cleaning our brushes, we started to fill in the pictures with darker colors, blending and mixing as we painted.
We finished by adding a few details with the lightest and darkest paint colors then we hung them up to dry and admired our work.
Studying Art with Renoir
This Renoir art project was lots of fun - we spent time studying his painting, learning about shades and tints, and created our own piece based on those techniques. It was a nice way to appreciate art and find inspiration for our own creations.
Here's a list of the basic supplies you'll need for this project:
paper (a thick paper that paints won't bleed through)
paint in three colors - black, white, and blue