Jumping Genre Sports Scenes


Introduce Genre painting with the work of post-Expressionist George Bellows then create a dramatic original painting of a sports figure in motion.


1. George Bellows grew up in Ohio. During his senior year of college, he left Ohio State University to study painting in New York with Robert Henri, who was a Post-expressionist, and a member of the Ash Can school of art, which dealt with gutsy realism. Unlike most of his colleagues, Bellows never studied in Europe. He was interested in painting what he knew, the U.S. scene, and is probably best known for his expressive boxing paintings (see Stag at Sharkey's).

2. Bellows painted many examples of American Genre painting (pronounced John-ra), which means scenes of everyday life. He revived lithography (a printing technique) in the United States, and his prints are as important as his paintings.

3. To create a Genre painting, begin with your favorite sport, and select a figure to paint in motion, as Bellows did in his dramatic boxing scenes.

4. Cover a table with recycled newspaper. On white paper, use Crayola® Tempera Paint and Paint Brushes to depict either yourself, another person, or a group of people participating in your favorite sport. Dry.

5. Use Crayola Washable Markers to add details and to outline important areas.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.


  • Students who are less experienced painters or who have special needs may prefer to paint using either sports photos as examples or by first watching each other engaged in the sport and making notes or sketches about body positions and movements.
  • Genre paintings include other scenes of everyday life. Think of something that you do nearly every day, such as walking to school, or having breakfast in the morning. Create a Genre painting of this routine activity.
  • Bellows was very interested in the sport of boxing. Imagine being in a boxing match, then paint yourself in the ring.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Paint Brushes
  • Markers
  • Artista II® Washable Tempera Paint
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • paper towels
  • container(s) of water



  • Grades 7 to 12
  • Special Needs
  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children research the work of U.S. Post-expressionist painter and printmaker George Bellows.

  • Children recognize the meaning of the term Genre painting and apply it in their own artistic creation.

  • Children create an original, dramatic painting of a sports figure in motion in the style of George Bellows.


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