The Clown: 1918-22
Dialogue by Mark:Text © Kim Solga, KidsArt 1999
Since it's Fameous George day on Imagination Station, we asked Kim the Queen of Art History at KidsArt to find us a famous artist named Frank....no, I mean George, of course!
And here's Kim's pick...Georges Rouault, an artist who lived and worked in France about 100 years ago. He painted this picture called The Clown....sort of a sad-faced clown with a pointy hat and fluffy collar.
Rouault grew up in Paris. His family wasn't particularly artistic, but his grandfather loved art. He used to take young George to the museums and the galleries to look at great paintings. George soon learned to love the shapes and colors and forms that artists created, and he wanted to be an artist himself.
When he was a teenager, Rouault got a job as an apprentice for a stained glass studio. He learned all the skills of making colored glass, cutting shapes and putting them together to make intricate stained glass windows.
When he was a young man, he left the stained glass business and went to art school. He became a famour painter. His art is best known for rich colors and heavy black outlines. Look at the arms and face of the clown...the painting almost looks like a stained glass window glowing with light.
You genius artists can practice expressions the same way. Just stand in front of a mirror with a sketchpad and a pencil. Make a face, and draw what you see. Rouault liked to use really thick layers of paint. If you could touch the clown's collar, the paint would feel lumpy and bumpy. You genius artists can paint with really thick colors too. Some paint comes already thick, like acrylic paints you squeeze out of a tube. But you can also stir stuff in to runny poster paint to make it thicker, like regular white flour or salt from your kitchen. Experiment and see what new art techniques you can discover!
Image courtesy of the Cincinnati Art Museum