Unity and Contrast
Learning and using the elements and principles of design is an important part of creating good artwork. These delightful giraffes show off the student’s’ drawing skills, their growing understanding of how to use liquid watercolors and the power of unity and contrast in a composition.
Faces with Glasses
Even for adults, watercolor is a difficult medium. Usually children are given a crayon or oil pastel to draw their picture before they paint. The crayon lines act as a resist and the paint is held in place by the drawn lines. These paintings have no resist lines! The students used the principle of water attracting water. They wet the shape they wanted to color with clean water before they added the pigment. Developing new skills and techniques is an important part of a good art education. These paintings are fun and unpredictable and are a stepping stone for greater experimentation with watercolor in the future.
The student’s used their observational skills to create a realistic pencil drawing. This drawing was traced onto velum and color was added to create an expressive selfie. Wonderful patterns and colors, plus a sense of fun make these drawing special.
Lines Create Shapes and Patterns Add Excitement!
The marks and shapes the children worked with in the first lesson (see below), are used here, but this time their lines form the shape of a bird. Adding pattern and repetition to the drawings creates movement and energy throughout the composition. Each artwork is unique to the student even though they started with the same concept! Individuality is important. These delightful turkeys are just in time for Thanksgiving.
Using their brushes to paint white lines students divided their papers into symmetrical masks. The shapes and spaces created by the white lines are filled with colors made only from the three Primaries: yellow, red, and blue. I encouraged the kids to blend the paints on the paper to produce more complex colors. They succeeded! If you enlarge the images you will see how they used their brushstrokes to make secondary and tertiary hues. Creating these wonderful abstract paintings taught the students how to configure a composition that uses the entire paper. These paintings are formally balanced and the spaces made by the white lines are interesting and unusual. The results of all this creativity is artwork filled with lines, shapes, spaces, colors, rhythm, movement, balance, and texture all organized into a strong composition that’s fun to view.