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...

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