Tiger in a Tropical Storm

Tiger in a Tropical Storm or Surprised! is an 1891 oil-on-canvas painting by Henri Rousseau. It was the first of the jungle paintings for which the artist is chiefly known. It shows a tiger, illuminated by a flash of lightning, preparing to pounce on its prey in the midst of a raging gale. Year 1 did their very best to create their own version of Rousseau’s masterpiece.

Firstly, the children painted their background a stormy grey. Whilst that dried, they experimented with drawing a snarling tiger, which had to look like it was waiting to pounce. When each child was happy with their tiger sketches, they drew their best version on orange sugar paper and then cut out. The tigers were then ready for painting and the children painted on tiger stripes and sharp, white teeth to make them look more realistic.

To finish, the children glued their tiger onto the stormy background and created the jungle scene using collage materials. Rousseau’s jungle paintings were built up meticulously in layers, using a large number of green shades to capture the lush exuberance of the jungle. Year 1 did their best to try that too. Cutting out the leaves proved to be the fiddliest part and some children experimented with adding different shades of green crayon to add detail to the leaves. The adding in a tree made of tissue, willowy grasses and red tissue for the berries completed the masterpieces ready for display.