Gullah Research Ms D's Classes

image of painting titled "The Old Plantation" author unknown  SC around 1790

"The Old Plantation," South Carolina, about 1790.
This famous painting shows Gullah slaves dancing and playing musical instruments derived from Africa. Scholars unaware of the Sierra Leone slave trade connection have interpreted the two female figures as performing a "scarf" dance. Sierra Leoneans can easily recognize that they are playing the shegureh, a women's instrument (rattle) characteristic of the Mende and neighboring tribes.

Ms D's Instructions and links

Gullah Art Painting II

For this project all paintings will be based on a Gullah theme of choice.  The entire class will work in the same media and style. 

Sketchbook 1:

  1. Include 3 color copies of Jonathan Green’s work in your sketchbook (share or email).  Label artist and title. (50 points)
  2. Watch the resource videos and/or read articles.  Write 15 facts about Gullah culture/history/values in your sketchbook.  (50 points)

‘Starter’ resource links for Step 2:

*Gullah History: (short videos about Gullah/Geechee history)   


   (an article about Gullah language and symbolism behind a Gullah quilt)

(a short article about Gullah/Geechee people) 

Jonathan Green:

or Google image search

Sketchbook 2:  Beginning the Gullah project:   


  1. Decide on a theme (low country landscape, low country animals, Gullah traditions, lifestyle, food, beliefs, work, leisure, art, music, dance, faith…etc.)
  2. Make a list of possible ideas/ways you can create a painting that relates to your theme.Get references as needed and print them/save them on your tablet to help with your painting.
  3. In your sketchbook, sketch out your ideas.
  4. Select one and create a preliminary contour line drawing on the provided paper.Be sure to include the 1” border.
  5. Put a piece of ‘Dura Lar’ over your drawing.Trace your drawing with the faux liquid leading.Make sure the bead is high enough to contain the paint. Have Q-tips and water nearby for ‘erasing’ any mistakes.Dry completely prior to adding paint.
  6. Use the pipettes to fill the outlines areas with paint.