Art Activities for Children
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Joseph Busby (5)
The inclusion of bright coloured pigments within the colour range is important for colour mixing good secondary colours. Useful pigments are: primary red, yellow and blue (cadmium yellow pale, crimson lake and pthalo blue will result in good colour mixes.) Useful others are ultramarine, bright green, black and burnt sienna (or any good earth colour). Acrylics are water soluble paints that dry water resistant. Synthetic sable brushes that allow paint manipulation without too much cost. Size ranging from 6 to 12 would be suitable for detail and for large areas of paint.
Mark Making with Paint
Other mark making implements will encourage exploration: old toothbrushes, combs, sponges, stamps and even hands. Stencils of everyday objects can be used: coins, hands, rings, scissors or rulers. String can be placed at random on the page and children can trace the lines. To spur inspiration, provide imagery of abstract art by such expressionists as Kokoschka, Kandinsky, Picasso and Miro.
Art Lesson Plan on Abstract Art for Beginners
The teacher may explain to children that not all art need to be representational. Some art use line and colour to symbolize an emotion, a sensation, a memory or an object. Children might be asked to think about how colour and line can evoke associations with something, starting with the obvious, which might be:
Red: warmth, fire, sunsets, anger, houses.
Blue: sky, holidays, sea, freedom, freshness, coolness, summer.
Zigzag lines: icebergs, rhythm, loudness, electricity, explosion.
Swirly lines: calm, travelling, water, reflections, soothing.
Children are encouraged to make any association as they like and to swap ideas. These associations may be kept in mind as the children begin their artwork but the painting need not mean anything at this stage; the aim is simply to render line and colour onto the paper.
Lesson Plan on Abstract Art for Kids
Some children will require more encouragement than others to begin an abstract painting. The following steps will help.
- To help those that do not know where to begin, place string onto the page and get children to trace the resultant lines. Place stencils at random areas of the paper and draw around them. Other children may draw freehand if they wish.
- Enclosed shapes created by stencils or random lines may be filled in with solid colour, stippled over, smudged or applied impasto.
- Encourage children to take stock now and again to evaluate the effects they are getting by their colour choices and line shapes. For instance, when bright colours are placed side by side, they cause a focal point. Focal points can also be created by: contrasting tones, patterns, the intersection of lines, a splash of bright colour, the inclusion of an odd shape or anything rarified.
- Encourage children to pay attention to the largest areas of the painting, which could get overlooked. What colour is it to be? Can it be broken down? Can it be cut out? Encourage children to cover as much of the paper as possible.
- Point out any challenges that may result from the children’s colour choices and composition. For instance, if there are a lot of shall shapes in one area to be colourd in, or a large area that lacks visual interest.
Once the session is over, children may look at their creations. They may think about: which part of the painting draws the eye? Why does it draw the eye? (The answer may be found in the points above). Are the colours warm or cool? Are they dark or pale? Are the lines smooth or jagged? Do the shapes evoke anything? Do the colours evoke a mood or sensation? This may be referred to in the exercise regarding colour/line associations earlier. Is there any part of the painting the child would do differently and why?
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