Making Mona Lisa Pop

Room 8 has been learning about the famous artist, mathematician, scientist, musician, architect, extraordinaire--Leonardo da Vinci. 

Some of us had heard of his name and some of us had seen his most famous piece of art, the Mona Lisa. However, we did not know much else about this famous man who lived nearly 600 years ago in the country of Italy. 

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Riley ruling a grid on his Mona Lisa template

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Lucy and Petra measuring where to rule their lines

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Chelsy Gracie and Stacey beginning to work on their Mona Lisa art

As a class we did some research, we were extremely interested to discover da Vinci was not only well known for his paintings but much more. He was a polymath--this means he was a person with expertise in a variety of areas. Da Vinci was a prolific inventor who designed and created many things. He designed and created the first diving suit and war tank. Many believe he was a man ahead of his time. He even designed and possibly constructed a robot knight.

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Ty carefully drawing lines to create a pattern

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Ty enjoying doing his Mona Lisa art

Ty commented that da Vinci is a very inspirational person because he has created a lot of helpful inventions. 

We looked closely at da Vinci’s most famous piece of artwork, the Mona Lisa. We found the Mona Lisa was painted about 516 years ago and took four years to complete. It is an oil painting on wood.

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Jayden starting to carefully colour his art

Jayden thought it is fascinating how old the Mona Lisa is and how long it has lasted

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Isabella Riley Layne Marshall and Chase working on their art

Marshall said he likes all the details of the painting, it looks so real.

It is believed the painting is of Lisa del Giocondo, who was an Italian noblewoman and member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany. The most famous feature of the Mona Lisa is her expression. Is she smiling or is she not? Her expression changes deepening on how you look at her.

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Stacey colouring in her Mona Lisa art

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Arion working on completing his art

Carly and Mrs Holder have both seen the Mona Lisa themselves and shared their experiences with everyone. They spoke about how the world’s most famous painting has its very own room in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. It is also highly guarded and has bulletproof glass surrounding it. We thought that was fair enough considering that it is said to be priceless and is currently insured for over one billion New Zealand dollars.

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Riley putting the finishing touches on his piece of art

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Jasimyn and Tuatari working together on their art

As a class, we decided that we would each create our own Mona Lisa with a pop. We created a Mona Lisa’s using a style of art called pop art. Pop art is art that uses bold colours and images that are popular in the modern world. We used bright and bold felt colours, in conjunction with a variety of patterns and the image of the Mona Lisa. 

We began by creating a pencil grid on our image. The teacher modelled using a ruler and pencil how to rule a grid containing 5cm x 5cm squares. We then chose some bold and bright colours and began carefully drawing and colouring in a variety of patterns, covering the shaded areas of the Mona Lisa.

Petra thought it was hard because I had to do different patterns but was also fun because I could be creative. 

Once finished we vigilantly rubbed out the pencil lines we had made in the white areas. Then we glued our Mona Lisa’s onto a coloured piece of card to create an extra popping effect! 

These colourful pieces of art will be proudly displayed in our class and will surely add a pop of colour. 

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Riley proudly displaying his finished Mona Lisa

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Mitchell happily displaying his piece of art

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Ty's nearly finished Mona Lisa

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Jasimyn's finished Mona Lisa pop art

Curriculum Links

Visual Art 

Level 3 - Investigate the purpose of objects and images from past and present cultures and identify the contexts in which they were or are made, viewed, and valued. Explore some art-making conventions, applying knowledge of elements and selected principles through the use of materials and processes

Social Science 

Key Words

Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, pop art, famous, polymath, creative. 

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