Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Experimenting with Lines and Buttons

Last week I mentioned the question of where art ideas come from, but I forgot one really important place for me. Often ideas grow from what materials I have on hand. You have probably all seen the Op Art Lesson on Mr. E's blog (here). I have tried it a couple of times and love the results, but I was looking for a way to shorten the project.

I also was given 2 large boxes of buttons some time ago to use in the classroom. So, starting with Mr. E's idea, instead of making a line with many dots, I just glued 3 buttons down for my dots. (One could, of course, do this with plain dots.) I used 6" X 6" illustration board (also donated!!).
Then,  I made the arced lines with a Sharpie marker until they bumped into each other.

Next, I applied 3 neighboring colors (on the color wheel) of watercolor to each space. I did try to intensify the colors where the pen lines met, but that was harder to do than I thought it would be, as I wasn't using watercolor paper and the board just sopped up the paint very quickly!!
 The top picture above shows what it looked like when I painted the entire background with black. I actually like the white background better, I think. I was originally thinking of doing this with first graders, but now, after auditioning it, I think it would be better for 3rd or 4th grade. This another one of those projects that I can imagine displaying altogether with the sides of each artwork next to the sides of others' works. Will be fun to try!!! But, this is testament to the importance of always trying out projects before asking kids to do them!!


  1. Fun adaptation!!!!! LOVE IT!

  2. This version reminds me of pretty sea shells! great idea! :)

  3. Thanks. I'm finding myself already of thinking of other variations!!

  4. Ah what fun to experiment though. Cool how you started with a button as your center. I like that!