Saturday, March 7, 2015

Camouflage Collages

Back in January I wrote about this lesson (that I had originally planned to do with 5th graders focusing on color matching and composition). You can see it here. Well, I didn't get to try it with the older kids, so I plunged in with 2nd graders this past week, changing the focus a bit,  and I loved what happened!! They all created little abstract gems!!!

We started with a brief lesson on the Smartboard where students found the lines created where two colors meet and practiced extending those lines. We did a lesson last week where students extended lines out to the edges of their board, so this was easy.  I was using cut up pieces of food boxes (cause you know how I like to recycle!:)) Phyl, over at There's a Dragon in My Art Room, recently posted about artist Michael Albert, who makes his art from cereal boxes, too. So we looked at some of his work before starting our ideas. 

After extending their lines using Sharpie markers, students used watercolors to try to match the colors on the edges of their collaged box piece, and paint that color out to the edges also. They were trying to camouflage the collaged piece, much as animals use camouflage in nature to protect themselves. I taught children how to make tints with watercolors by adding more water to the pigment and mixing in their lids. They were working on a painting mat (just a piece of white cardstock) that they could use to test their mixed colors. I was absolutely delighted to hear kids talking about what colors they might use to mix the exact hue they were trying for.

Sometimes kids ended up with areas that weren't adjacent to the cereal box. I said they could either leave those areas white or choose any color that they thought looked good to paint them. That is why there is blue in part of this painting.
One little practical consideration -- once they were done painting, students had the final job of using a DRY paper towel (I actually cut them up into smaller rectangles so as not to waste paper) to vigorously and completely clean their paint lid so it is ready for the next artist to use.

Here are a few paintings drying on the patio:

It was so hard for me to choose just a few examples to share with you, so I'm posting more than I normally would. Hope you enjoy!!

 Once these were done and displayed, they provided great opportunities for discussion regarding SO MANY elements and principles of art!!!!!!


  1. These are so wonderfully creative Christie! It's so interesting to see the direction each student took with their collage pieces.

  2. Great idea - I'm sure the kids were really engaged!

  3. Great idea, love the lines that flowed and using the cartoons. Thank you for posting the pictures. They look really impressive.

    1. Thanks -- and I almost used up the cereal boxes I had saved:))