Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rhythm & design with acrylic, inspired by multicultural fabrics

Gessoed masonite (9x12)
Acrylic Paint

For the raised parts:
Mat Board scraps & cardboard squares - glue gunned 

This lesson focused on the PRINCIPLES of DESIGN, 
and specifically RHYTHM. 
It was also a wonderful way to introduce the kids to acrylic paint. 

Resource for rhythm:
I can't say enough great things about this post from the Helpful Art Teacher
And I HIGHLY recommend showing the short video to your students if you are trying to get across how to abstract nature or create designs that are inspired by an object but shouldn't look like the object. (I used this resource for an eighth grade abstracted nature project.)

For this project:
I supplied students with the following list of keywords and they did google image searches. 
They could google as they pleased, and had to find
three sources of inspiration before creating their design. 

Indian block printing, Adinkra printed cloth, Kente woven cloth
Mudcloth from Mali, javanese batik, Tapa cloth,
Quilts of Gee's Bend, Quilts by Eleanor McCain

They planned their design out in pencil. 
It had to be inspired by their three sources convey rhythm and repetition. 
Raised painted shapes were optional,
and I did my best to deter them from creating a centered design. 

For IPAD teachers!
My students created a slide show illustrating their inspiration and process in Explain Everything. 
I had them save each slide as an image and email the images to me. 
Then I popped all of the slides into imovie so I have a slide show of their design process to display at the art show. 
Here is one great example:


  1. I love this for sooooo many reasons. Amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  2. congratulations from spain. we follow you and like your work. it´s great. we are now in a comunity proyect inspired in your proyect Growing Day by Day at the MFA -we love this idea. we are in an scolar art bienal proyect and created a comunity proyect where mothers, children, and teachers have participated. you can see more here . saludos desde españa¡¡¡