Sunday, June 22, 2014

Textured Background and Contrast

The meanderings of a Saturday afternoon:

Sometimes the idea for a piece of art comes from whatever surplus items I happen to have around. The other day, as I was cleaning out a closet, I came upon by bag (or, to be more precise, BAGS) of leftover yarn. And so this art project began...

First step was to wrap and tape some yarn to a piece of board.

Next, I painted the whole thing. I used primary colors, but I am thinking that kids could use whatever color theme they like.

Then I unwrapped the yarn, but wasn't all that happy with it because of the lack of contrast. Think I'll give it a try using liquid tempera instead of cake tempera.
However, as it dried I noticed there were some darker areas . . . I thought, "Maybe if I just make them darker." So, out came the crayons.
I find that one of the hardest things to teach elementary students is to "see the darks" and get a full range of value. This might be a good exercise for that.
I chose dark values of crayons and deepened the painted areas that were already a bit dark. Huge improvement!!
Satisfied with the results, I went back to my closet organizing. Right in front was my newest project (which I found through Pinterest here - it's a great tutorial!) -- twisted twine made from fabric scraps (which I have in abundance in another cupboard!!). Maybe fodder for a future post!

This, of course triggered phase two of my little art project -- some lines. At first I made a black and white line and then tried a secondary color line to mimic my twine. I wasn't sure which I liked and left them both sitting there on the background while I continued my closet project. When I came back I started moving the 2 lines around and intertwining them until I found a composition that I liked.

I think this will be a good process for kids at school to reinforce how artists often don't just crank things out at one time, but rather, mull over their options and discover new solutions:)) And now, back to my closet . . . ho-hum . . .


  1. Quedaron muy lindos los trabajos! felicitaciones! invito a ver mi blog,

  2. This is kind of fun! I especially like the way the background paper came out. I can see it becoming the negative space for a whole bunch of different ideas.

    A thought - how about, after the first layer of paint (watercolor or cake tempera), if you re-wrap the string in another direction and add another layer of paint? Isn't it fun trying stuff??

    1. I like that idea!! I also thought about making one of those block prints with string wrapped around a block and then printing over the painted background in sort of a checkerboard pattern with alternate squares printed with the string horizontal and then vertical (if that makes sense??). And "Yes, it is very fun just playing around!!

  3. OK, this is sort of creepy-weird. On my comment above, I could not read the security 'capcha' letters at all, so I just typed in ABC figuring it would tell me I was wrong and would give me a new set of letters or numbers to copy. But instead, it was published! What are the chances that the blurry thing I couldn't read, actually said ABC?!?!?

    1. I know, those capcha things drive me nuts, too. Lately I've been getting them with just 3 or 4 numbers (instead of letters) and they have been MUCH easier to read!