I finally got around to trying out the popular "Mondrian Animals" lesson. I originally saw it in "Arts & Activities" magazine by art teacher Berniece Patterson - find the lesson plan HERE.
It's a great project for those on a budget because it uses very simple supplies: white paper, regular water-based markers and a ruler. I started off by showing kids a slideshow of Mondrian's famous squares and rectangles art. We talked about the colours used, why he might have limited his colour palette and if they thought his artwork would be easy to create or not (seeing as it's so simple.) His style of art is considered 'non-representational'.
|Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) Composition C (), with Red, Yellow and Blue, 1935|
Kids started off by drawing a simplified outline of an animal of their choice. They were instructed not to include any details within the body other than a simple eye. The, using a ruler, they drew horizontal and vertical parallel lines within the animal body. Keeping the lines parallel proved to be quite a challenge for them!! I find that students rarely use rulers (for drawing straight lines at least) these days in class, and it shows during art class!!
Once all the lines were drawn, students coloured in some of the shapes using Mondrian-esque
colours of red, yellow and blue with touches of black.
The last step was to use the ruler again to trace over all the lines with a thick black marker.