Wednesday, January 23, 2013

figure to abstraction paintings

My third graders LOVE this project! It is a really fun way to make abstract art and explore the idea of working together as a community!

This project usually follows one on figure drawing - this year we had focused on Keith Haring and his "bubble people" first. Then, for our 'figure to abstraction paintings', we start by talking about the abstract artist Lee Krasner. (Go here to see images of her artwork, and here to read information about her life.)

The students do real life "bubble people" outlines on large pieces of bulletin board paper. (We used white, but I'm thinking butcher paper would be cool too!) They have fun laying in different poses on the paper and tracing each other. Their goal is to overlap the "bubble people" many times, so that it creates shapes, and the people outlines are no longer recognizable.

Last - bring on the paint! Each group chooses five colors that they think will look nice together on their composition. I really encourage them to come up with at least 2 colors other than primary and secondary ones - some favorites are hot pink and teal! I use small plastic "fruit cups" with lids to give them their paint, and these are stored on the windowsill for week to week use. When they paint, the kids try hard to fill in each shape that was created by overlapping their "bubble people" tracings, without going over the pencil lines.

In the end, they have an amazing abstract work of art!


  1. What a great blog name!
    Thanks for stopping by and I am so glad you like the coil turtles!! They were fun...

    I am also glad you stopped by so I could find your blog!


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