David Driskell. Cold Night, Falling Trees

Guide to Looking

When viewing art, allow a few minutes just to observe. Careful observation allows time to use all  the senses and become engaged and notice things missed at first glance. Make a list of everything observed; things noticed: objects, colors, shapes, patterns and feelings that the work conveys to you.

David C. Driskell, Cold Night, Falling Trees, 2005, Oil and collage on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, Museum purchase with support from the Friends of the Farnsworth Collection, 2006.10

Guiding Questions: 

  • What might have inspired this artist?
  • What does this image make you think of? 
  • How has the artist used colors to create a mood?
  • How did this artist use line to create movement?

Let’s Create a painting: 

Gather Materials: pencil and eraser;  watercolor paper 9 x 12; watercolor or tempera paint, or pastel sticks; some natural objects perhaps collected from a walk outdoors, perhaps in the woods.

> First step:   Gather a few natural objects such as twigs, leaves, and rocks and arrange them on your desk. Use your imagination as you arrange your objects so that perhaps they remind you of a landscape, a favorite place, or a feeling. 

> Second step: Begin by lightly drawing your object shapes on the page. They might overlap or not touch at all. Thinking about movement in the piece, create a sketch that moves the viewer’s eyes throughout the page. Shapes and lines can touch or overlap or not–up to you!

> Third step: Use your paints to color the shapes, outline the shapes or create new shapes like a moon or sun in your image. Consider the time of day you might be portraying–dawn, mid-day, afternoon, evening or late night. Are there any animal shapes in your painting? Consider a title for your work.

> Fourth step: Share your creations with us by uploading your finished work below!

Artwork Upload from Activity Sheets
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> Last step: Find out more information on this artwork and artist by visit this page on the Farnsworth Art Museum website: https://collection.farnsworthmuseum.org/objects/4773

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