Blue horses, orange elephants and pink ducks!

We read and were inspired by Eric Carle‘s The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse.

This book takes us through page after page of vibrantly painted animals. Rich colours, perhaps not quite how we might have imagined them. Then again . . . A yellow cow under a deep blue sky. A purple fox trotting through the mud. A black polar bear roaming across the ice. All gorgeous as all Eric Carle art is! At the back of the book Carle explains that he was inspired by an art teacher in Germany who showed him Franz Marc’s Blue Horse painted in 1911. This painting, unrealistic in colour was forbidden during the repressive Nazi regime, but Carle’s teacher felt the freedom of the painting would speak to him. Carle claims that his colourful animals, often painted in the “wrong” colours were “really born that day seventy years ago,” when he was shown Marc’s work.

We pulled all the Eric Carle books from the library and started sketching animals. Here is Khai drawing an elephant.


Deandra draws a cat.


Students then began to outline their animals in pastel. Purity outlines her purple dolphin.


And then we got out the paint! Catriona paints a green horse with a wonderful looseness and freedom.


Quack. Quack. A pink duck with a green beak by Hailey.


Here is Khai‘s completed orange elephant.


Carmen painted a gorgeous orange dolphin swimming through vibrant blue ocean.


And who can resist Jacky‘s blue turtle ambling across the page carrying his brown shell?


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