Saturday, August 1, 2015

Kindergarten "4-3-2-1" Abstracts

Artwork by Leo

Since many of our Kinders are still gaining confidence in creating art, I like to emphasize early on how it only takes "the basics" of lines, shapes, and colors to start.  In this lesson which expands on the tale of "The Dot" (see previous post), I teach students that their art doesn't even have to look "realistic" - that it can really be "anything."  (In doing so, I'm also introducing them to the idea of abstract art, as well as some of our basic elements of art -- line, shape, and color.)  I feel this sort of work builds confidence by removing the pressure of making something look "real."

We start this lesson by discussing some of the artwork in the room.  I ask them to tell me what they see in some of the more figurative works, and they are able to list specific subjects: "trees," "a boat," "a mountain," "a big person," for example.  Then I show them a work like Joan Miro's Melancholic Singer, and their answers change to "circles," "shapes," "a lot of red," "lines," as well as some pretty imaginative interpretations! 

Joan Miro, The Meloncholic Singer (1955)

Then we get to work on our own abstracts.  We call this our "4-3-2-1 Countdown" art.  Using the Smartboard for my own example, but encouraging them to make their work their own, I show them how to fill their page with four kinds of lines (straight, curvy, zigzag, and broken), three circles, two triangles, and one square.  They can make these elements any size and put them anywhere -- I only encourage them to "fill up the space."  After these more specific instructions, I let them add their own lines and shapes for a few minutes before handing out the colored markers and suggesting they color some parts of their work. Despite the similar start, the works are always very different, and, hopefully, a good preparation for when we start using the same elements to create more figurative art.

Artwork by Isabella

Artwork by Owen

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