Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Symmetrical Monochromatic Paintings

Another gem from school years passed AND based on a lesson from Making Amazing Art.
I think these paintings were by fifth and sixth graders my second year of teaching, as a way to introduce color, value and balance.

1. Create a symmetrical drawing.
The original lesson called for an outline of a butterfly. I didn't want these preteens to be insulted, so we stuck to abstract, tessellated designs.
a. Fold a piece of paper in half hot dog or hamburger, and draw any kind of line that starts at the top and ends at the bottom. This was a great way to review kinds of line as well. 
b. Add five more lines to break up the two shapes. Remember to use a variety of lines to add more interest. Keeping the number of lines limited helps to not make the final composition an overwhelming design. (As it was, these took weeks!)
c. Re- trace all the lines heavy and dark with pencil.
d. Fold the paper in the opposite direction and apply pressure in order to make the lines "jump" to the other side. There are multiple methods to transfer the lines, but you don't want to spend a ton of time with retracing everything perfectly because painting takes the most time.

2. Pick a color and paint!
  • Make sure to introduce or review value and monochromatic color schemes. 
  • Remind students that for their paintings to be truly symmetrical, whatever value they paint in one shape, they must paint the corresponding shape the same value.
  • Demonstrate the process you want your students to use when mixing their own paint values and clean up procedures. 
In my room, each student gets their own "palette" or Styrofoam lunch tray and is responsible for their own materials. Tables are labeled by color and each are called to the sink by me. Clean up time has to be an orchestrated event for chaos not to ensue. My students know the routine and know my expectations. (And it took a lot of patience and learning on my behalf to figure out what works!) 

3. Retrace original lines in black if desired.

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