Much of Spanish artist, Joan Miro’s later work is wonderful inspiration for young children because of it’s child and dream like simplicity and abstract nature. Many of his works at this time were quite surreal and imaginative that used shapes, symbols and a limited colour palette. He often used primary colours too.
We looked at the artwork “Sun Eater” or sometimes called “Imaginary Boy” by Joan Miro made in the 1950s discussing shapes, lines and colours. They found the tiny bit of yellow in the eye and we reviewed the primary colours.
Students began by drawing the basic shapes on their paper in pencil first to make sure they had the size right. They then used paint sticks in any chosen primary colour to colour the circle on the body, followed by the surrounding square, then the stripe across the eye, making sure they used the three primary colours. Because paint sticks dry so quickly, they were able to then go over their pencil lines on the head, eyes, nose and mouth before using straight vertical and horizontal lines across and down the square body.
Lesson Plan for Prep/ Foundation aligned to Victorian Curriculum with lesson steps and success criteria statements.
I used a number of picture story books, like ‘My Many Coloured Days’ by Dr Seuss and the Inside Out movie characters to discuss how feelings and emotions can be expressed with colours. We looked at the colour wheel to choose colours that best go with some common emotions: for example: happy (yellow), sad (blue), angry (red), frightened (orange), embarrassed (purple) and relaxed (green).
I drew some examples of faces with various emotions on the board. I got the children to draw a face showing a feeling next to each colour on the colour wheel in their books.
Children then choose 4 feelings to show on 4 faces. They traced a face template and drew their four chosen emotions in black waterproof marker (Prockey), using examples to help. Then they used food dye wash to paint each face the colour matching the emotions.
We discussed how we can feel all sorts of emotions even in one day. I had drawn an outline of a body on large sheets of paper and they used different colour pastels to trace over the border . They then use water colour paints to paint patches of colours on the inside of the body shape to represent our varying emotions.
The faces were then cut out and glued around the body shape. The faces could be smaller than what we did (as I had the brainwave to combine the two activities. You could of course display them as separate artworks!) Here are a couple put together:
Students share their pictures, describing the emotions shown and colours chosen, maybe relating a time they felt that particular emotion.
Learning Intentions & Success Criteria, links to useful videos and story books, lesson activities, and Victorian Curriculum links.
This art lesson is a good for Foundation students early in the year. It fits in well with themes of ‘Community’ or ‘My Neighbourhood’ when these Mondrian artworks can be interpreted like a map with the lines being streets and the coloured shapes being places on the map like houses. It introduces the primary colours and horizontal and vertical lines. Full lesson plan with Victorian Curriculum alignments below.