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Level: Primary, Junior, Middle
Grades: K-8 | Age: 5-14 | Written by: Julie Moses
[Julie is a homeschooling art teacher who runs Miss Julie's Art School in La Quinta, CA.]

Hieronymous Bosch was a Dutch Surrealist Painter in the 15th and 16th centuries. This was 400 years before most people think Surrealism really began. Artists like Salvador Dali took Surrealism to it's highest peak in the early 20th century. The art form incorporates realism in fantastic and often nightmarish situations. Bosch explored both the good and bad extremes of human nature. In this lesson, students will explore these ideas as they depict beauty and monsters together.

What You Need:
What You Do:
  1. Fold the paper in half lengthwise. On one side, draw the side of a vase in pencil. Start at the top corner and make curves all the way down to the bottom of the paper.

  2. Now draw the same curves on the other side in a mirror image.

  3. Some of you will recognize this as a drawing exercise called 'vase faces' or 'gargoyles'. If you look carefully you will see the profile of two rather grotesque figures in the curves you have just made. Now it's time to play them up and make them as "ugly" as you can.

  4. Once you are happy with how horrifying your profiles are, make as pretty a face as you can in the middle space left by the profiles.

  5. If you have any white space left, you can fill it up with pictures of things you like and don't like.

  6. Use a black Sharpie® to go over all the pencil lines, and then color in with a combination of marker and oil pastel.

  7. Bosch used his paintings to tell stories, so as an extension of this activity you can write a spooky Halloween story about what it happening in your picture.

About Hieronymous Bosch (Jerom Bos)

Written by Andrea Mulder-Slater, KinderArt®

Type of Work: Painting
Born: 1450
Died: 1516
Nationality: Dutch
Style/Movement: Renaissance
Best Known For: Strange figures and nightmarish tales.

Note: SOME of Hieronymous Bosch's works may not be suitable for young children. Be sure to research any images in books etc. before introducing them to children. For suitable images, see the book: Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch (see below).

More about the Author:
Miss Julie's Art School
The Homeschool Herald
Ms. Julie's Place Blog

Recommended Books/Products:

Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch
by Nancy Willard
Here is an imaginative tale about the unconventional fifteenth-century Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch, as told by his wildly dissatisfied housekeeper. Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon and their son, Lee, depict a most unusual household filled with pickle-winged fish, flying furniture, and other bizarre delights. "From its sumptuous paintings to its gilt frames to its quixotic verse, everything about this exquisitely produced tour de force bespeaks wit and elegance." ~Publishers Weekly

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