Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tiger in The Jungle Inspired By Henri Rousseau

I'm working on developing several Animal Themed art projects for my Art Camp this Summer.  I have always thought a Rousseau inspired project would be fun so I decided to give it a try.  

Rousseau's Paintings are very dreamlike and primitive.  He painted several jungle scenes even though he never traveled outside of France.  He wasn't formally trained in art and simply taught himself how to paint.  I'll show the students a few examples and then we'll do a directed drawing of the Tiger in pencil on Watercolor Paper.  It's pretty simple if you break it up into simple shapes:  a circle for the face, rounded triangles for the ears, triangle for the nose, etc...

We'll discuss what parts of the tiger are white and what parts are orange, also the stripes down the forehead, across the cheeks and across the chest.

They'll outline their final drawing with black sharpie and then using just the orange, paint the outside of the ears, the face and chest, leaving the appropriate areas white.  I am going to have them paint along with me - I'll demonstrate and then they can do theirs.  I'm not trying to have them copy me, just that they understand how to work with the watercolor.

 After the orange is dry they can go in with black paint on a fine tip brush and go over the stripes with a ziggy zaggy brushstroke.  While they are waiting for the orange to dry we'll cut some leaves and flowers out of tissue paper.  The eyes and nose are yellow with a drop of orange put in while it's still wet.  If they get it too orange I'll show them how to squeeze the water out of a brush and use it to remove excess color.  Now they have practiced a watercolor wash, wet into wet, and removing excess pigment.
The final step is to use a glue stick and tissue paper to surround their tiger with jungle foliage.  A fierce and fun mixed media project!


  1. My daughter is doing a unit study on tigers and this will be a perfect addition to her unit study! Thank you for sharing this!

  2. I'm going to use it for Tiger Rising novel.

  3. I love it! What grade level did you do this project with?


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