Edvard Munch: The Scream


Edvard Munch's painting is one of those very recognizable works, akin to Van Gogh's A Starry Night and Grant Wood's American Gothic. Everyone knows "The Scream". So what I did was bring the image to class and we had a roundtable discussion about how Munch's work of art made us feel. Munch was an Expressionist, and his purpose was to express a certain feeling, an emotion to the viewer. So I asked the students how it made them feel. It was unanimous, no one wanted this painting hanging in their bedrooms--they said it wasn't scary, but it made them uncomfortable.

That said, I think Munch made his point. "The Scream" makes you feel something, even if you don't know exactly what that is--it's still an unpleasant feeling. So our goal for the project was to create their own "Scream". This is one of those projects where the emphasis is on the idea behind the artwork, as opposed to technique.
  • Hand out 9 X 12 sheet of drawing paper or Bristol board.
  • Let students lighting sketch their design. We began by creating a horizon line, then there was a short lesson on perspective before students drew their bridge. I gave the students liberty as to how their main figure should look.
  • I love oil pastels because they are so versatile. Students can use them in a similar way as crayons, they can also apply some pressure and blend so gives it a painted effect.
  • After the students colored in their backgrounds, I had them outline in black, to give the colors a chance to pop.
The artwork above was created by a third grader.

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