JOHN CONSTABLE

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1776-1837

John Constable, an English Romantic painter, is renowned for his beautiful landscape paintings. His most famous paintings include Dedham Vale of 1802 and The Hay Wain of 1821. Born in Suffolk, many of his paintings depicted landscapes and the beautiful scenes and skies around his home.

john constable, famous artists, kids art, art appreciation, dedamvale

Dedham Vale

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The Hay Wain

However, inspired by the dramatic skies during our tropical summer, our focus on John Constable was centred around his cloud studies.

john constable, famous artists, kids art, art appreciation, impressionism

Cloud Study

john constable, famous artists, kids art, art appreciation, cloud study

Cloud Study of Cirrus Clouds

john constable, famous artists, kids art, storm cloud, impressionism

Cloud Study with Rain Cloud

Cloud Study (with birds in flight and stratocumulus clouds) was one of our favourites.

We took a look at a few of his paintings depicting the skies, and then took lots of photos of our skies.

john constable, famous artists, kids art, art appreciation, impressionism

john constable, famous artists, kids art, art appreciation, impressionism

We had lots of fun at the Clouds in Art website where you can view several artists depictions of clouds and then see if you can identify the cloud type using photographs that are given.

A friend who knows my children so well sent them a big box of goodies for Christmas- right at the bottom was an oil painting set complete with canvases, stands, an artist's palette, brushes and oil paints. Delighted that they now had their very own "artists toolbox", I suggested that they try their hand at a Constable style oil painting. I was ready to squeeze out tubes of black, white and blue and let their creative juices flow- fortunately my husband- who has much more artistic flair than me, was home! I will let him step in here!

I'm no expert....but I tried to keep it as simple as possible. First I got the kids to use French Ultramarine and White, on a small canvas, and blend it from darker at the top to lighter at the bottom for the sky. Then, while the oils are still wet, they used White for the cloud to indicate sunshine highlighting the tops and Alizarin Crimson and French Ultramarine for the cloud bottoms to indicate shade. The Crimson gives a purple shade that looks far more realistic than using greys. They used "rounded" wrist movements to give form to the cloud.

Who would have thought- red! A colour I would not have suggested for clouds!

john constable, famous artists, kids art, art appreciation, impressionism

Constable, famous artists, kids art, art appreciation, impressionism

My children were very impressed that John Constable kept a sketchbook! You can view pages of his sketchbook here.

My son called me the other morning to have a peek through his blinds- "You won't believe it Mom! Look at that!" The clouds that particular morning were spectacular. A few minutes later he was snipping away at paper and asking for blue tack (both my children know they need a good excuse for blue tack- it is not nice in carpets!) "It's nothing funny Mom, you can come and see." Well this is what he was up to!

john constable, famous artists, kids art, art appreciation, impressionism

"Mom, it's a different picture from every angle- my own moving art, all in frame!" He then proceeded to cut out a few more frames for our other windows!

Back to Art Appreciation from John Constable



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