We are still focusing on the letter M in our STEAM home learning unit. Our Art in Action: Monochromatic, Mixed Media Art experience was a lot of fun to complete for all my various aged children. They had a lot fun experiencing the different colors and using the different media in the creation of their pictures. Each completed the pictures in their own method, but they all enjoyed the experience.
Objective 1: To help the children begin to understand that colors come in different shades and tints.
Objective 2: To expose the children to different artistic media.
One copy of the Geometric Worksheet for each child, available here.
Monochromatic - A picture or design consisting of only one color and the shades and tints of that color.
Shade - A color that has had some amount of black added to it.
Tint - A color that has had some amount of white added to it.
Begin by passing out the worksheets. Talk with the children for a few minutes about the vocabulary in this lesson. Explain that the worksheets are currently in a monochromatic scheme of black and white. Talk about how adding any amount of white changes a color to a tint and how adding any amount of black changes a color to a shade.
Next, have the children take turns picking a color. After a child has picked a color, give that child all the shades and tints of that color in the different media available.
Explain to the children that they need to fill in the worksheet by using the black and white designs as guides. The children need to turn the black and white design into a colored design. The design will have a cleaner geometric pattern if the lines are crisp during the coloring of the shapes. To help my children with this, I asked them to outline each shape before they colored the shapes.
That’s all there is to this activity. The set up for this activity was simple, but the activity was a lot of fun. We only had about 30 minutes to complete this art experience, so some of my younger children didn’t finish. They wanted to finish so I let them gather up the materials and save them in a bag to finish another day.
My fifth grader took the concept of outlining a little bit further than I intended, and outlined every shape before coloring. She was very meticulous in deciding which color and which media should be used where. Her design was remarkable when she finished.
My third grader made a pattern out of the different shades and tints of his color. He switched coloring implements for each shape, and then continued the rotation.
My first grader chose a color for each shape and colored so that the same shapes in the picture had the same color.
And my preschooler and her friend colored in a more free form – creating designs out of the designs.
They all enjoyed working with the different types of media. My fifth grader noticed how the different media each created different textures and looks on the page. My third grader said he enjoyed the oil pastels the best because of how smooth and soft they looked. My first grader said he liked the crayons because he knew how they were going to act. My preschooler was thrilled to be using markers (because I normally don’t let anyone younger than 5 use markers on a regular basis.)
It was an interesting experience watching them all create different, yet similar, monochromatic, mixed media art. I enjoyed watching them express themselves as they created, and, most importantly, the kids all enjoyed themselves.