Each year, my sixth graders create an acrylic painting on canvas. They are always very excited to use these professional materials! I design this unit to be choice based, with a focus on color mixing and color theory. They all practice gradating colors and mixing different values with acrylic paints. For their final assessment, they can choose to demonstrate their skills with several different suggested concepts, one of which is this gradation silhouette painting.
For this painting, each student creates a gradating background of colors on their canvas. They can choose what time of day or the level of realism that they wish the display. I encourage them to base their background color choices on the subject matter they plan to add in the foreground.
After their background has dried, students then use black paint to add a silhouette to the foreground of their work. Again, they choose the subject matter they are interested in and apply they skills in adding details to their canvas.