Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lines and Color Bursting Forth

A few weeks ago I wrote about line patterns that started with black and white and then progressed to color surrounding them. The lesson is here. I finally got around to teaching this to 2nd graders this week and thought I would post the results. Actually, I changed how I taught the lesson a bit.

We started out discussing different styles of lines and named a few of them. Kids drew some of their ideas on the Smartboard (sorry I forgot to take some pictures of this part of the lesson). Students then drew a minimum of 3 lines on their 3" X 4" boards. They had to begin and end on an edge and each edge had to have at least one line beginning or ending on it. This was to help create a background with lines extended in all directions, providing nice large sections to paint.

 Children cut small squares of foam core to raise this rectangle from the background and create a "pop-up".
Once the small piece was glued on, they extended all their lines to the edges of their larger board (8" X 10"). Finally, they painted the background sections using cake tempera. The focus here was using color thoughtfully and purposefully. (We had spent some time reviewing color systems.)

I loved the variety of lines and was so pleased that almost everyone remembered how to use their brushes correctly (without mashing the bristles) and cleaning them well between colors!! The best part of this project was that children worked independently with very little need of help and actually finished in one class period ( 50 - 60 min.)
I like the way this girl used separate colors for each of the "loops" in her vertical line:))

I made the suggestion that kids could leave some sections white. This student didn't quite get the concept of extending his or her lines to the edges of the board, but I really like the result!!

Look at all these great reds with the one section of the complement, green!! Great color mixing!!

The lines on the small rectangle fairly explode off the page -- such terrific action!!

These make me smile in the same way that Matisse's cut-outs do:))

This shows a nice, intentional use of white space.

I liked seeing how students treated their extended lines. Some painted over them, some left them black and white, and this student painted his blue:))
After drying outside (if you live in Boston, I am sorry to show you this one!!) I put a few up in the hallway display case.

Sometimes I display line works like these touching each other so that the lines seem to connect and create a network. I didn't do that here, but now I am thinking that maybe I should have!!


  1. I just had to tell you that I think all of your ideas are wonderful! I am an art teacher in New Jersey and I teach grades K-8. I have gotten many ideas from your site!!! I have also done many of your lessons that you have done. I love the stuff you do! Always original. Most recently I have done the deer in a forest and the latest post with the lines and pattern. I used your original way of making tabs. Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work!!!

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know. It is always gratifying to know that others are having a good time with the projects you find here:))