How to Paint like Georgia O'Keeffe

Fourth Grade Math Activities: How to Paint like Georgia O'Keeffe

What You Need:

  • Old magazine
  • Magnifying glass
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • White paper
  • Pencil
  • Watercolor paint

What You Do:

  1. Share some of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings, such as Blue and Green Music, with your child and discuss them together. See if he can determine the specific plant or flower that was the motivation for each of O’Keeffe’s paintings by looking at them.
  2. Next, encourage him to look through magazines or online for images of nature that he finds interesting. Give him a magnifying glass to use while looking at the picture, and encourage him to notice how it makes everything appear larger.
  3. Once he finds an area of the picture he likes, he can use a ruler to measure a 3 by 3-inch section over the spot and use tape to section it off from the rest of the picture.
  4. Now it’s time for some maths! Help your child decide if he wants to make his picture 2, 3, 4 or 5 times bigger than the original image. Then, help him figure out how to determine the final size using his maths skills.
  5. Once your child decides how many times he wants to magnify his 3 by 3-inch square, he can do the maths to figure out how large of a paper he will need. Help him cut down a 12 by 18 or 18 by 24-inch piece of paper to use.
  6. Invite him to use a pencil to lightly sketch out the lines and shapes of the small square onto the larger sheet of paper, magnifying the small square onto the large paper.
  7. Offer him a set of watercolor paints to use for creating his Georgia O’Keeffe inspired artwork.
  8. Once the painting is finished, display it next to the original small square for others to see the cool magnifying effect he used, in true O'Keeffe style!

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