A few weeks ago we were reading Grandfather’s Journey for the Five in a Row part of our day. It is a story of how a boy’s grandfather traveled from Japan to the United States and then back and forth between the two for a bit until he returned for good to Japan. As this story is set in Japan, I was delighted when I saw that Art in Action had a lesson on a Japanese artist named Okajuma Toyohiro. He is a block print artist. You can go to Wikipedia to read the details of how block printing is done, but basically, it is a wood block carved out with the picture. Then the block is inked and pressed onto the silk. It is a long process as one must do all the different colors separately.
We watched the video describing and analyzing Toyohiro’s Four Accomplishments No.2. The video is provided by Art in Action. I love watching the videos they provide as they are so informative. We learned all about the lines in the print and learned vocabulary such as vertical, horizontal, and diagonal, background, middle ground, and foreground.
We then used brushes and sponges to paint trees, using vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines. They were to be four trees, one for each season, and you were meant to make a Japanese shoji screen with them, but we didn’t bother.