I love my grade seven girls! This is the first time I teach middle school art and generally speaking, I have to say it’s not that bad. Teaching the middle school boys is another story and probably another post but they are nice too…most of the time. The girls however, are lovely!
This year I introduced these art journals to the middle school students and they have been a big hit. I try to give them a weekly prompt or a specific activity to do in their journal but generally it’s a place for them to freely create, draw, and express the wide range of emotions that go through a typical middle school student. When my students show me their journals, abstract art is pretty much the predominant style these kids use naturally. What happens then when you do a lesson on abstract art on canvas with acrylic paints? Tons of fun and an amazing opportunity for creativity to burst out!
We started by talking about the origins of abstract art and then went online and looked at this easy tutorial to get a sense of where and how to begin. The girls were ready to start, and there was excitement in the air to paint on canvas. In the tutorial, Thaneeya McArdle starts off by creating a border on her canvas. I decided to let the girls choose if they wanted to begin this way or not because I wanted to avoid everyone’s paintings looking the same and cookie cutter art work is not my thing. Some girls chose to begin with a border, others chose to start with shapes and everyone was totally into beginning their first layer.
The next layer and lesson was to add other shapes and designs in new spaces or over other shapes. I found that some of the girls that don’t feel too confident with their art skills blossomed with this activity and really enjoyed the free forms and art that was coming to life on their canvas. This was for sure a great confidence booster!
Three lessons were dedicated to layering, adding new shapes, designs and patterns.
The final lesson was for outlining, adding metallic paints, and last minute details. Everyone signed their names like a real artist!
Truly stunning, don’t you think?