Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Colour Theory, Paul Klee and Painting on Old Book Pages

For our first lesson back this term I wanted to revisit Colour Theory.  I have some new children in my classes and there are a few children that have not yet grasped the concepts.

We started the lesson with a wonderful idea from the Beyond the Basics ecourse I've just completed at Deep Space Sparkle.

Playdoh Colour Wheel

What you need:
  • Playdoh in Red, Blue and Yellow
  • Paper Plate
  • Colour wheel template
 How to:
  • Roll the Playdoh into small balls
  • Pass each child a ball in each of the colours
  • Ask them to place these on the correct segment on their colour wheel (younger children may need help with this)
  • Have a discussion around the PRIMARY colours
  • Ask them to take a small piece from the yellow and a small piece from the blue
  • Ask the child to mix them with their fingers to make Green
  • Place into the green segment
  • Continue until you have all the SECONDARY colours and discuss
  • Continue process until all of the segments have a ball of coloured playdoh in them
  • Discuss TERTIARY colours
  • Discuss COMPLEMENTARY colours
  • Discuss WARM and COOL colours and ask them to put a line through their pie writing Warm on one side and Cool on the other.
  • Discuss how different colours make us feel and what do we think of when we mention certain colours (eg Red  = fire).
  • Squish down all the balls of playdoh onto the plates so they don't fall off
The Results:

Paul Klee Paintings on Old Book Pages

After discussing all this colour theory it was time to put it into practice.  I wanted Paul Klee as our artist of the week as he has been dubbed as the "Newton of Colour".  Many of his paintings are certainly vibrant and I showed the children a selection of his paintings.

I just love this pin from Arte a scuola and have based this lesson on hers however I used tempera paints instead of watercolours.  I did this as I wanted the children to mix their paint directly on the page using a technique called "double loading" which I learnt from Patty at Deep Space Sparkle.  Simply you dip your paint brush into one colour and then another so both are on the brush and then mix the paint onto the page as you go.  Its a great way to reinforce colour theory.  I love the use of old book pages as its so fun to paint on something other than white paper.

What you need:
  • Old Book Pages
  • Tempera Paints (Red, Blue, Yellow and White)
  • Black Markers (I used Sharpies)

How To:

Ask the children to draw various squares, lines, boxes and triangles on their page in Paul Klee style using a black marker.  Bring out the paints, demonstrate the double loading technique and leave them to it.  Once the children had drawn one Paul Klee inspired piece they were allowed to draw other pictures on their book pages.  I asked for some pictures entirely in Warm or Cool colours as well.

The Results:

Our artist of the week is Paul Klee,  a Swiss painter from the early 1900's.  His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. He was very good friends with Wassily Kandinsky.  I love this quote by Klee " Color possesses me.  I don't have to pursue it.  It will possess me always, I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour. Color and I are one.  I am the painter".



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