Today students finished up their paintings from the last two weeks. We also ended our official exploration of color, although hopefully the students will continue exploring on their own. Teal started the day with an informal critique, asking the class what they learned the last week about color. She asked questions like, what colors did you get, how did you get them, were there any surprises when mixing? We got a lot of amazing responses; the following is a student talking about how she got a color by accident.
Her explanation shows to the students that accidents and mistakes are good. That is one of the only ways we can move forward as artists, by making those accidental discoveries and finding out what works and what doesn’t. The following video shows a student who mixed a color that didn’t actually turn out the way he wanted it to. In this case he had to remix the color to get the exact shade he wanted. It made him think about the colors he was putting into the mix and what they would do to the end color.
After the group discussion students split into two groups and Teal and I each took half of the class on a color safari. On this safari students were required to point at colors they liked and tell us the name of the color and why they liked it/what it made them feel. This exercise was meant to help get students thinking about the emotions that colors can express. We also hoped that it would bring the whole idea of colors and color mixing home, when they students realized that color is everywhere around them. It worked really well, students got really excited about mixing the colors that they saw on the safari.
After the safari students were instructed to finish up their paintings and when they were done to try to explore materials. One of the students last week had come up with the idea to draw characters on a separate sheet of paper and then cut them out and glue them onto the painting. We encouraged this kind of thinking as well as exploration of materials such as paint mixed with oil pastels. The following is a clip showing one of the students talking about how he experimented with paint and pastels.
Through this exploration he discovered a technique that he really liked. This kind of discovery is hard to teach, its something that the student needs freedom and space to make mistakes and learn from them.
When students were finished with their work we had them come to the documentation station. We had a cut out of a television in the corner and a few props like glasses and a hat and we basically interviewed the students on their art. In this station we had the students tell us about the colors they chose as well as the environment their structure was in. Below is a video of one of our students talking about her piece. In the interview she hits on a lot of color mixing and talking about how she mixed those colors. It was a lot of fun hearing them so excited about the colors they mixed.
With minimal introduction these students learned how to mix all of the colors they wanted as well as how to explore color mixing in general. They did an amazing job of learning how colors go together to make the ones they want.