H is for Horizon Line

Mommy Crusader Preschool Units, School, STEAM 0 Comments

I love it when my kids express their artistic side. I have always enjoyed art myself because of the happy memories I have of painting with my father. We are still working with the letter H in our learning unit – so I thought I’d introduce the concept of the horizon line during an art exploration. After all, H is for horizon line. As an added bonus, we also got to study some art work by Joris Abrahamsz van der Haagen.

The kids enjoyed looking at Haagen’s work. They liked the way Haagen focused on creating motion in his landscapes. I was particularly impressed by his Slot Ilpenstein. I enjoyed the movement and feeling in the clouds.

Haagen was a painter in the 1600’s that focused mostly on landscapes. This painting, which is hanging in the Louvre Museum, focuses mostly on the sky and the movement of storm clouds through the sky.

Objective:  to introduce children to some of the fine art works by Joris Abrahamsz van der Haagen.

Objective:  to introduce children to the concept of a horizon line when creating art.

Horizon line – the horizon line is a line drawn across a picture that shows the viewer from where they are viewing the picture. The horizon line provides perspective in a picture.

Sample art work by Haagen, available online after a quick Google search.
1 water color paper for each child
1 brush for each child
1 pencil for each child
1 set of watercolor paints for each child
paper towels
water to wash and dip brushes

Begin by showing the students the art work by Haagen. Have the students talk about what they see in the pictures. Talk about what you see in the pictures. Talk about how Haggen divided the picture using the horizon.

Talk about what the horizon line is. Explain that pictures don’t have to have an actual line drawn across the horizon, but something needs to show where the horizon is.

Have the children pick one of Haagen’s paintings to imitate.  Imitating a painting helps develop a greater understanding of the original work and helps the children understand the process of creating a painting.

First, have them draw the picture. This will help them be better be able to use the watercolors to paint the picture. The children need to be using watercolor paper because that paper better handles the watercolor paints and won’t rip or curl with the addition of water.

Next, have them paint the picture. Help the children remember to include their horizons in their paintings. Sometimes it is helpful to have two painting sessions when using watercolors. One for the background and one for the details after the background has dried.

Adding a horizon line is often a difficult concept for preschoolers to understand. This activity helps them see what a horizon line does in the composition of a piece of art. This was a fun art project that also helped my children understand the concept of a horizon line.  It was fun to watch my children work on creating their landscapes. It’s always fun to paint together.

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