Friday, July 19, 2013

Mark Rothko Inspired ATC Color Studies

Kids are home for the summer and they're bored. Why not explore some great artists with them and create art inspired by their style? Looking at the work of a famous artist is a great jumping off point for experimenting with different styles, material, and techniques in a low-pressure way. 

ATCs (or Artist Trading Cards) are tiny pieces of art the size of a baseball card (2.5" x 3.5".)  ATCs are a great way for kids to explore and make art on a small scale. 
It also allows them to experiment with a variety of techniques quickly. 
They can create as many pieces of art as they want without taking up a lot of room! 

ATCs are fun to trade with friends, family members, neighbors, and classmates too. 
We store our ATCs in plastic baseball card sheet protectors in a three-ring binder. 

I made these Mark Rothko inspired color study ATCs with my daughter's 4th grade class this spring. We began by reviewing a portfolio of Mark Rothko's art work. We talked about his life and work and discussed his use of "color fields." I also talked to them about ATCs and showed them some examples. ATCs are meant to be exchanged and traded so the kids knew they would be sharing their artwork with each other. 

Then, we cut up white coffee filters from the grocery store into 2.5" x 3.5" rectangles. 
To make the color field, color three colored bands on the coffee filter (carefully so you don't rip the paper) with water soluble markers. We used Crayola and Rose Art markers. 

Then, they sprayed their coffee filters with a few squirts of water from a small spray bottle.
We worked on top of some newspapers to soak up the excess. 

You don't need a lot of water, the water will spread and bleed with the colors. 
If the colors aren't blending, add a bit more water. 

NOTE: We also had some white card-stock ATCs (that were pre-cut) 
to mount our coffee filters on -- just glue the coffee filter on with a glue stick when it's dry. 
The kids signed the back of the card-stock cards not the coffee filters. 

Want more art lesson ideas? 
If you are looking for more ways to explore great artists with your kids this summer, 
check out my best-selling e-book series packed with simple supply lists, 
step-by-step directions, photos of real student's artwork, 
and a simple art history lesson (script) about each artist. 

 Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

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