Abstract Colorful Art | Easy Art Lesson For Children | Beverly Gurganus Fine Art
I have put together an easy art project for children because Mommas, Daddies, Grandmothers, and Grandfathers (or any one else this may apply to), we have been thrusted into the task of homeschooling our kiddos due to the current Covid-19 events. My colorful abstract lesson will be a fun way to keep them busy for a bit.
For those of you who don't know, I taught 3 years of elementary art in a local private school, and after my daughter was born, I taught 3 years elementary and 2 years Jr. High and Highs School part-time for a home-school co-op. I enjoyed teaching children and sometimes I miss it, but working full time in my home studio creating art is where I desire to be in this stage of life.
This lesson I'm sharing with you was my go to "Ice Breaker" lesson that I did at the beginning of every year. This lesson allowed my students to freely create in a fun way without any pressure while allowing me to introduce some basic elements of art such as line, shape, and color as well as some elements of design such as balance, variety, and pattern.
Colorful Abstract Art Lesson:
Another reason why I love this lesson is because you can easily adjust it to increase or simplify it's difficulty to make it age appropriate, and I will give you some ideas on how to make it more challenging for older or advanced students.
Paper. You can use any paper you have around your home, but consider the medium you are using. If using marker, You may want to choose paper that will hand the bleed of the marker. I recommend using construction paper or cardstock.
Medium. I love using oil pastels for this project, but I know most of you probably don't have oil pastels laying around your home. Crayons, markers, or color pencils all work lovely.
Your child will draw black lines onto their paper using straight or curvy lines. Make sure the lines intersect and fill the sheet. For younger children, have them keep their lines around 5 for 6. Too many lines will create a lot of work that may be too much for their attention spans.
Talk about the meaning of Line and it's characteristics.
Line - a mark that has length and width. It can be straight, curvy, zig zag, wavy, spiral, broken, etc...
Decide on what color combinations your child would like to use to fill in their shapes. Use those colors to fill in all the spaces / shapes that the intersecting lines created.
Discussion: Shapes, Color
Talk about what a shape is and explain geometric and organic shapes. Have your child think of objects that are geometric and then objects that are organic.
Shape - A space enclosed by a line that starts and ends at the same point.
Every thing has a shape.
Geometric shape - precise shapes such as square, circle, triangle, rectangle...
Organic shapes - shapes that are usually found in nature such as leaf, flower, cloud, bird, peanut, etc...
Talk about color and the color wheel then let your child decide to use primary, secondary, warm, or cool color schemes. I personally like keeping the colors to 3 color families.
Primary colors - Red, Yellow, Blue...these colors can be mixed to create all the other colors.
Secondary colors - the result of mixing to primary colors.
Red + Yellow = orange Blue + Yellow = Green Red + Blue = purple
Warm colors - Red, Yellow, Orange
Cool colors - Blue, Green, Violet
Once your child is finished coloring in all the shapes, they can go back over their lines to re-define them if they desire.
Other variations of this lesson:
Objective: Geometric Shape, Color mixing
Use a geometric shape such as a circle. Give your child something circular to trace several times on their paper. Making sure the circles overlap. Color the circles using primary colors, and where they intersect, color that area the secondary color that the two primary colored circles create when mixed. (see above photo)
Objective: Organic shapes, Color Theory
Have your child trace their hand 3 times while allowing them to overlap. Have them use the same principal of the circles with the hands. (see circle photo because the hands were not colored using that method)
Torn/Cut Paper Collage
Objectives: Line, color, balance, shapes, rhythm, pattern
This lesson can be extend for 2-3 days.
Your child will follow the original lesson to create two separate pieces. The first sheet, your child will use straight lines and either warm or cool colors or primary or secondary colors. The second, your child will use curved lines and choose the opposite colors of the first sheet. If they chose warm colors on the first, they will use cool colors on the second. If they used primary colors one the first, then they will use secondary colors on the second.
Select one of the completed designs and use scissors to cut it into several strips (approx. 1" - 1 1/2" width). Take the second completed design and tear it into strips about the same width as the first. Make sure both of your strips are cut/torn using the same orientation... landscape or portrait. You want the strips to be the same length.
Use glue to attach them to another sheet of paper while being creative with design, texture to create variety, rhythm and balance.
That's one lesson with 4 examples of the many variations that is possible making it a favorite of mine for all grade levels. It a lesson anyone can teach, it's therapeutic so parents you should give it a try, too, and it takes minimal supplies (usually supplies you already have around the house). Don't get too caught up with all the elements of art and design. The most important part of this lesson is to have fun and encourage creativity.
If you decide to give this a try with you kiddos, I would love it if you share a picture and/or comment below to let me know how it went.
I pray each of you will stay healthy, enjoy spending time together during this time, and remember to wash your hands.