Monday, November 19, 2012

Painting the Sunset with Tomie dePaola

November's Virtual Book Club author is Tomie dePaola!  We chose The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush because we had it on our shelf but haven't read it yet, and it offered a very natural way to bring more art into our homeschool.

This book is about a young boy, Little Gopher, who does not feel like he fits in with the other children of his tribe.  They are all hunters and warriors, but he knows that he will never be like them.  Then his true destiny comes to him in a Dream-Vision.  The legend goes on to tell how his beautiful paintings lead to the flower the Indian Paintbrush.  It's an inspirational story for the child who feels different, but let's them know that everyone has something special to offer! It is also a great introduction to cultural legends.

One of the paintings in the story is the sunset, and Iron Man wanted to paint "the same thing the boy painted...the sky" so of course we had to paint our own sunset.

I am not artistic and do not have much experience with art materials, but I am making an effort to introduce them to my children early, so they can become comfortable using them.  So this was Iron Man's first experiment with tube watercolors.  Isn't it interesting, though, how their little minds see things?  This was done without a picture reference, but he really worked at getting the "glow" and the different colors in there.

Hulk painted a rainbow sunset.

Of course, we certainly had to spend some time watching the sunset.

Iron man was quick to notice how the colors in the sky changed with the position of the sun.

This was a great opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us.

I also thought it would be a good idea to add a sunset to our nature journal, which excited Iron Man because he loves his journal.  He also used oil pastels for the first time.  This was done with the above pictures for reference, so his colors were placed a little more naturally.

Iron Man had a great time trying new art materials, and I'm really glad we chose this book.

Linked Up:  Virtual Book Club


  1. What beautiful sunsets! I love all of them.

  2. I think you have some budding artists on your hands!

    1. Thanks! :)

      I have no artistic ability myself, but I figure if I offer them the opportunity to try new materials, something may spark their interest.