Thursday, December 2, 2010

Elements and Principles of Art

The students have had lots of fun playing with the clay and using their new techniques! They are finishing up their final projects - the one(s) they get to take home. They each had one pound of clay with which to create. While we are waiting for the clay to dry, and during the first/second firing, the students will explore the Elements and Principles of Art. There are a wide range of projects that will give students an understanding of what these elements and principles are and how they are used in artwork.

We have already covered the elements of line (portraits and the movie - "The Dot and the Line") and shape (portraits, still-lifes, and landscapes) along with the principle of proportion (3rd grade landscapes and 4-6th grades still-lifes). Now we will explore the element of color in depth. Here is a great website on color (in English and EspaƱol ) called Color in Motion. You can explore what "personality" each color has (symbolism in color), who the color's "best friend" (complementary colors) is, and whether it is a primary (red, yellow, blue) or secondary (purple, green, orange) color. There are also some fun activities you can do wherever you have internet access!

The Color Wheel (including primary, secondary, and tertiary colors):

Lesson one: Complementary colors 
(a primary color and the secondary across from it on the color wheel which is made up by mixing the other two primary colors)
  •  Red and Green (yellow + blue) - "Flaming Squares" activity (pattern/rhythm)
  • Yellow and Purple (red + blue) - "Wacky Weaving" activity (pattern/rhythm)
  • Blue and Orange (yellow + red) - "City Scapes" activity (pattern/rhythm)

Lesson two: Analogous colors/Tertiary colors - "Flower Gardens and/or 3-D Buildings" activity

Analogous colors: are next to each other on the color wheel. They are usually in groups of threes and have a color in common. For example, blue, blue-violet, and violet all have the color blue in common. Tertiary colors: are made by mixing a primary color with a secondary color.  

Tertiary colors (see color wheel above):
  • yellow-green
  • blue-green
  • blue-violet
  • red-violet
  • red-orange
  • yellow-orange
 Lesson three: Warm and cool colors - "Echo" activity (K-3)/"Walk the Dog" activity (4-6)

The element of color lessons will be combined with the principles of art lessons: pattern and rhythm.