## Wednesday, January 21, 2015

### Color Wheels Composed with Tree Branch Paintbrushes

As part of our Georgia O'Keeffe study, we're also studying art composition, including warm and cool colors and color comparisons. To begin, I asked the children to create their own color wheels. I gave them large-format drawing paper, and since they've both recently learned how to use the compass, I asked them to also draw the wheel from scratch:
 This was Syd's introduction to the protractor!

Fortunately, it's quite simple to make a color wheel using a compass, protractor, and ruler:
1. Use the compass to draw a circle as large as the paper will support.
2. Use the center point to help you draw a line straight through the circle with the ruler.
3. Use the protractor to mark a 90-degree angle from this line, also at the center of the circle. Use the ruler to draw the line.
4. Again using the protractor, mark a 45-degree angle in the middle of each 90-degree angle. Use the ruler to draw the lines.
Our Christmas tree is still hanging around--now it's outside on the brush pile, but it nevertheless remains green!--so the children cut their paintbrushes from it. Sensory exploration, creation with a new material, and no need for paintbrush washing--yay!

We own enough Biocolor paints (although after this project, I think I need to restock!) for the children to have completed their color wheels that way, but Syd got it into her head that she'd revolutionize color theory. She'd start with red--

--and then she'd wow the world by showing that you really CAN make all the colors of the color wheel from red!

She got this far:

This also happened, which is why I suspect that I need to check our paint stock:

Will, on the other hand, first studied the provided color wheel--

--and then immediately recreated it on paper:

And after Syd gave up her original idea--alas for the world of color theory!--she started again and created this:

It was very interesting to watch the children handle their tree branch paintbrushes, as they each did so quite differently. Will really embraced the feathering effect of a paintbrush lightly held and vigorously swiped, while Syd held her paintbrush in such a way that all the needles pointed the same direction and allowed her to paint neatly and accurately:

And yet, with both children, it was very apparent by the end of the day that a good time had been had by all:

Although Syd did need to spend quite a bit of time at the sink dealing with those paint cups used in the attempt to prove her grand theory...