Sunday, January 19, 2014

#1 Lesson Share Sunday - OP ART COLOR SPECTRUMS

As you know I am a retired state certified art teacher.  I was recently going through some files and found all these lessons I wrote for my students over my ten years 
teaching grades 1 thru 8.  
So I thought I'd share.  I know some of you may be teaching 
children in workshops, home school or school art teachers.

I will post a lesson every Sunday, so look for them!
I hope you find this helpful and if you ever have any questions 
please do not hesitate to e-mail me.
Good luck!

Carmella Tuliszewski
Op Art Color Spectrums
Color Theory in Modern Art- Color Spectrum, Tints & Shades
Grades 7 & 8


Knowledge-  Students will learn the specifics of the color theories of light and pigment by the practice of mixing tints and shades of each color of the spectrum.  They also learn about Op Art, be able to identify op artworks and several artists, explain the premise of op art.

Skill- Students will use tempera paints to create a six-color spectrum with each colors tints and shades.

Attitude- Students will appreciate the scientific and mathematical practices used in color theory and
specifically the 20th century art movement Op Art.

MOTIVATION- Questions leading the students to discovery. 
Teacher begins class with slide presentation of various color theory examples and Op Art featuring artist Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley
Slide: Vasarely example

Op Art, like many styles, is a loosely defined variety of artworks. This kind of art was first called kinetic art because some of the art actually moved and the rest appeared to move because of the way the designs play tricks on our vision. Op Art is concerned with illusion, perception, and the physical and psychological effects of color.

Slide: Delacroix, Monet, Van Gogh, Seurat to demonstrate progression of various color theories.
In the nineteenth century, Delacroix pioneered color theory while the Impressionists and Neo- Impressionists explored totally new approaches to color. These artists created colors in the eyes of viewers by placing small dots of colors next to each other, which would create the color the artist, wanted in the viewers' perception. Seurat used the science of negative afterimages and simultaneous contrast as we did with the index card stars. For instance, if you place blue dots and dashes next to yellow dots and dashes the resulting color your see from a distance is green.

Slide: Victor Vasarely, various examples
Then in Paris, a group of artists took the idea of kinetic art further. Some sculptures actually moved, while others made use of visual effects that create the sense of movement; they used surface kinetics.

One of these artists, Victor Vasarely, claimed art was taking a giant leap forward as traditional easel painting was replaced with what he termed "Kinetic plastics."

Slide: Bridget Riley, various examples

Within the Op Art movement are a large variety of artists who use Vibrating colors, concentric circles, and pulsating moiré patterns color to create visual effects. One of the most effective illusionists is Bridget Riley. Her first works were mostly black and white linear works, which make the picture plane wave, billow, and vibrate. Her later artworks use color, which pulsates and vibrates
Teacher discusses the optical illusion in the above pieces as part of the presentation.
Why do the squares look like they are coming out at you and then receding?
Even though the canvas is flat it looks three-dimensional. Some pieces have cubes that shift position. Why do the cubes seem to move?

ACTIVITY- What the students will do.
  1. Students create a work of nonobjective art using isometric perspective. On 12” x 18” white paper, they create boxes, lines, squares, etc. receding or coming forward into the viewer's space.
  2. Students begin with a zig-zag line type across the page and repeat this type of line 7 times down the page.
  3. They mark in pencil where the design appears to change planes.  Where it changes direction.
  4. Each row created by the lines will contain a different color of the spectrum.
  5. A tint is created by adding a little white to each color to create the illusion of dimension where the plane of the design changes.
  6. The result is a spectrum design that appears to be in three dimensions.
Color Theory, Spectrum, Prism, color wheel, negative afterimage, simultaneous contrast, 
and optical illusion

Art History Reference
Op Art, Vasarely, Bridget Riley
Delacroix, Monet, Van Gogh, Seurat

12” X 18” White Paper, Pencils, Rulers, Tempera Paint, Brushes, masking tape

NAEA STANDARDS- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Example of Student work from my class and some tips.

Aren't they good?  Remember they were only 7th and 8th graders.    
They learned so much from this lesson but it was challenging!

1.  I had them use tape for straight lines but only where the direction of the design changed.
      Other wise it's a real mess and takes too long.  Part of this lesson too is learning to control the
      brush, so freehand painting is good for this part.

2.  Here they alternate pure color, tints and shades to make it look 3D.
       Start with the pure colors right out of the bottle.  They then mix their own tints and shades.

3. Use masking tape but have students tap the sticky side on the shirt to take a little of the sticky
        off for easy removal.  Apply the tape so that it slightly overlaps the painted space next to it 
        to avoid a white line in between.

4. I usually followed this lesson with an Impressionits painting project to make use of their new
         practice of creating light and dark color combinations.


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