Applying Color And Pattern
Step 1: Each student receives one section of an unidentified image.
This art lesson is a group project for up to 20 students which starts as a project on color and ends as a large scale portrait.
- To begin the color element of this project, each student should be given one part of an unidentified image that has been cut into 20 individual sections - at least one section for each participant.
- They should be issued with a number to write on the back of their individual section that corresponds to its position in the original image. This makes it so much easier to reassemble the 20 sections to form the portrait at the end of the project.
- The main task for each student is to color and decorate their section of the image.
- Within the rules outlined below, which are necessary for the organization of the final portrait, students are free to express their individuality through their choice of colors and the creativity of their patterns.
Rules for Applying color and Pattern
Step 2: Paint in the dark and light background colors of each individual section.
Students should color the dark and light backgrounds of the individual sections according to the following rules:
- All squares or parts of squares that are dark on the original section should only be colored with darker secondary, tertiary or shaded hues (colors mixed with black).
- All squares or parts of squares that are light on the original section should only be colored with lighter tinted hues (colors that are mixed with white).
Step 3: Decorating with pattern.
Students can use any type of pattern they choose to decorate their section. However, again they must follow certain rules:
- Any colors may be used to pattern the darker areas of the section as long as that area still appears dark when compared to the lighter areas.
- All colors used to pattern the lighter areas of the section should only use tinted hues (colors that are mixed with white) in order that these areas remain light to contrast with the darker areas.
NOTE: Among the individual sections you may find that one or two are totally dark or light (see the top left section in the illustration below). If this is a dark section it should be colored according to the rules for painting dark areas. Conversely if it is a light section it should be colored according to the rules for painting light areas.
Assembling the Sections
Step 4: Gather all the finished sections together.
As the individual sections are completed they should be gathered in by the teacher or group leader to prevent the students piecing them together in order to discover the identity of the overall image. This discovery should be a surprise that they all experience as a group at the end of the project.
NOTE: When working on a group project there are usually some students who work very slowly or others who are unable to attend which results in some of the work being left unfinished. In such cases those who have finished their contribution early should help out by assisting with any work that remains incomplete. This should ensure that all students remain active and finish the project together.
Step 5: Arrange the sections to form the final image.
Once all the sections are finished they should be arranged to form the final image. At this stage the students will discover the identity of the portrait. With that information they can then decide if any of the sections need some color or tonal adjustments to improve the impact of the final image.
The Final Image
Step 6: Presenting the finished work.
To present the work at its best, each section should be carefully trimmed, aligned with its adjacent sections and stuck down on a backing sheet to frame the final image. Four A1 sheets of cartridge paper were taped together to form the frame for our example.
From our experience, most students, irrespective of their level of ability, take great pride in their contribution to this project. However, one of the disadvantages of working on a group project is that their is no tangible product which individual students can retain as a record of their involvement. Nevertheless, there are a couple of ways around this. One is to allow the students to photograph the final image with their own cameras or cell phones. Another is for the teacher or group leader to take a digital photograph and store it on a common database where the students can access it.
A Working Example
EXAMPLES OF OUR CHUCK CLOSE ART LESSON
The above examples of our Chuck Close Art Lesson were created by classes of twenty students aged between 12 and 13 years. Each section of the overall image was painted on a sheet of A3 cartridge paper (200gms) using the small round tempera blocks that you find in most schools.
We hope you have as much fun working on this project as the students who created our examples.