Community Paintings

Artwork Depicted By: Jose Ramirez (top left), Alice Beasley (top center and bottom right), Queen Moneyi (top right), Faith Ringgold (center left and center right), Alejandra Robles Barba (center), Robert Gutiérrez (bottom center), and William Henry Johnson (bottom right)

Community is the central theme for my 2nd grade classes and during the year we explore the many places and people that bring us together. For this project my young artists are asked to create a painting of their favorite place within their community. I always love the variety of locations my students choose to depict and the stories they have to share along with them!

We began with an introduction to the work of artist Jacob Lawrence, who created numerous paintings of his community in Harlem, as well as other artists from around the world.

But before they begin their paintings, we search for reference images to help us with our work- google maps and yelp reviews are GREAT for this! They then print and paste those images into their sketchbooks and draw out an initial draft.

In a similar style to Lawrence, students began by drawing geometric and organic shapes while also incorporating a foreground, middleground, and background. Because a community is a group of people that live and work together, artists were encouraged to include at least three or more people in their drawings.

After lightly drawing out their community with a pencil, these young artists then traced their drawings with a sharpie and began to add color to the small details.

They then learned how to mix tertiary colors, tints, and shades to paint their work. I have done this project for several years now and I am always blown away by the level of detail in their paintings!

Student Art

The following images are the same project but completed by 4th grade artists.