Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In the Style of - Raoul Dufy

After learning about the life and works of Raoul Dufy, the children make paintings using his style. For ages 3 to 6. Plan 2 sessions.

  • Learning about Raoul Dufy and his work
  • Painting in the style of Dufy
  • Mixing primary colors to make secondary colors
reproduction, outline, pattern, primary colors, secondary colors

Look here for more information about Raoul Dufy. Click here and scroll down for four examples of Dufy's paintings during his Fauvist period (1905-1909).

The Life of Raoul Dufy
The French painter Raoul Dufy is known for his brightly colored and highly decorated scenes depicting the pleasurable aspects of everyday life. The joie de vivre (joy of life) expressed in his paintings helped to popularize modern art.

Born in Le Havre in Normandy, France in 1877, Dufy was the oldest of nine children. He left school at the age of fourteen, taking a job to help support his family. Showing a rare talent for drawing, he attended evening classes in a local art school so he could continue his job during the day.

In 1900, Dufy won a grant to study art in Paris and was exposed to several important styles of painting. He was first influenced by the Impressionists who were concerned with painting the effects of reflected light. After seeing a painting by Matisse in an art gallery, he converted to Fauvism with its emphasis on bright colors and bold contours. In 1909, his contact with Cezanne led him to experiment with Cubism, flattening space and emphasizing form.

By 1920, Dufy established his own personal style of painting, using clear colors and lines. He ignored the traditional ideas of perspective by using bright colors in the distance, often making them into decorative patterns. 

He was seventy-five when he died in Forcalquier, France in 1953.

  • Manila paper or colored construction paper (approximately 12 x 14 inches)
  • Liquid tempera paints including black
  • Small containers for paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Containers of water to rinse brushes between colors
  • Small jars and stirrers for mixing colors
  • Sponges to dry brushes after rinsing
  • Examples of Dufy’s paintings from his Fauvist period
First Session
  • Become familiar with the life and paintings of Raoul Dufy.
  • Set out paper, small dishes of black tempera paint, and brushes.
  • Gather examples of Dufy’s paintings.
How to Begin
  • Tell the children about Raoul Dufy and share the examples of his paintings, making sure that the children understand that the examples are only reproductions, or pictures, of the actual paintings. Explain that, in this session, the children will be making paintings using Dufy’s style.
  • Point out the characteristics of Dufy’s paintings:  clear and bright colors; bold outlines or lines around the shapes; decorative patterns or designs; and pleasurable everyday scenes.
  • Discuss with the children the familiar places that they enjoy visiting, such as the park, zoo, or beach. Point out the simple shapes and patterns that Dufy uses to fill his scenes, like the boats in “Boats at Martigues,” and the designs in “The Basin of Deauville.”
  • Have the children use brushes dipped in the black paint to fill their papers with shapes and patterns related to their chosen scenes. Be sure they understand to not fill in the black shapes because colored paints will be added in the next session. 

Second Session
  • Set out the colored tempera paints, brushes, containers of water, and sponges.
  • Set out jars and stirrers for mixing colors.
  • Set out the dried paintings from the previous session.
How to Begin
  • Review the clear, bright colors that Dufy used in his paintings. In this session, the children will be working together to mix colors for sharing while completing their paintings.
  • Explain that red, yellow, and blue are called primary colors because no colors can be mixed to make them. When two primary colors are added together, they create secondary colors. To demonstrate this, give jars and stirrers to several of the children. In each jar, pour in a primary color and then add another primary color; for example, yellow to red, red to blue, and blue to yellow. Have the children mix the colors to create the secondary colors.
  • Put some of each primary and secondary color into small containers for sharing.   
  • Explain that the children should fill their whole paper with colors, being careful to avoid covering the black lines, allowing them to show as much as possible.

  • Children are delighted by the bright colors, simplified shapes, and cheerful everyday scenes that Dufy used during his Fauvist period (1905-1909).
  • The five- and six-year-old children will enjoy seeing the effects of adding white paint to the colors.
  • Remind the children to paint around the black lines, letting them show as much as possible.
  • Are the papers filled with bright colors and clear outlines?
  • Have the children point out the primary and secondary colors in their paintings.
  • Review how the different colors in the children’s paintings were made.
What the children might say…
  • I don’t know what to put in my painting.
  • My paint keeps going over the black lines.
  • I like painting with so many pretty colors.
What you might say...
  • When deciding what you’d like to paint, think about where you enjoy going and some of the things you see there.
  • In his paintings, Raoul Dufy often goes over the edges of the black lines with his paint. Just try to not cover them up completely.
  • Raoul Dufy tried to make everyday life more enjoyable by using bright and cheerful colors.
Click here to view this lesson in a printer-friendly format.