Today, with the grade 4’s, we worked on abstract art. Actually, we worked on one of the art activities that Loriana had mentioned in a previous ‘Tuesday 12’. The students really enjoyed working on this activity. What is there not to like? Paint and brushes?! There is just something about it that students really enjoy. I think I had them at abstract – for some, I think it is a relief when they know that their final picture does not HAVE to look like something.
However, for this particular activity, although the painting part is abstract and can be done in any which way, they were to draw an natural image (ex. a tree) and include it in their painting. Here is what we did step by step.
I gave students two different options so that they can individually choose which option works best for them as we all know that students have various strengths and weaknesses.
Option one allowed students the choice to draw the image on black construction paper, cut it out and then glue it on a piece of white paper. From here, students are to then take a paint brush and water colors and begin painting. They could choose to paint section by section, with each section have a specific color or they could start with one color, leading into another and then another, creating an overall interesting effect. Some students really liked this option.
The second option gave students the choice to paint the white sheet of paper first, keeping with the same idea as in option one; however, in this option they do not have to paint within lines of an image. Rather they are painting a blank sheet of paper in it’s entirety. Once they have painted the white sheet, they can put this aside to dry and move on to creating their image on a sheet of black construction paper. After doing so, they will complete the same steps – cut it out and then glue it in their painting (which should be dry as they are using water colors). Most of the students chose this option.
Regardless of the options the students chose, which again, was to help them complete this activity in a way in which they felt comfortable with, the final pieces turned out great! Although somewhat alike in many ways, each piece of artwork was different, interesting, creative and quite unique. From trees to flowers to clouds – they came out great!
I have included quite a few examples just to show you how these abstract paintings turned out. You can definitely work with this activity in a number of ways. We chose to work with larger sheets of paper, but you can also work with smaller sheets. We chose to work with white and black, but you can also choose to work with different colors of construction paper; however, to create the effect as shown, go for the black construction paper. It stands out amazingly! You can work with specific colors of water paint, or allow them to use all and any. You can have them stick to creating trees, or allow them to create any image they like. Again, so many different ways to work with it!
Overall, it is a great activity to allow student’s creativity to roll! All you need is time and materials and ofcourse, prior knowledge and experience with abstract art, lines and water colors! Definitely a fun, interesting and simple activity!