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Abstract art has been around for well over 100 years. Why is it so popular?
You may be an abstract lover, abstract naysayer, or just confused about the concept of abstract in general. However, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon – so might as well embrace it! The main characteristic of abstract art is that it has no recognizable subject. Nonetheless, I believe that abstract art is derived from what we see in reality and translated into something different or mixed with something from our imagination.
In the world of child development you may hear phrases like “critical thinking skills” and “creative problem-solving abilities” when referring to the goals for child’s cognitive development. What they are really talking about is… imagination. The way to create human beings with imagination is to provide them with opportunities to develop it for themselves when they are very young. These opportunities are found in one place and one place only… play. Playing with paints, playing with play dough, with costumes, with glue and with crayons. Making a mess. Exploring the woods. Splashing in a puddle. Wondering at a caterpillar you notice inching by you. Pretending to be a bird, gliding through the sky. (1)
With that being said, let’s dive into the ocean, play with some crabs and create some abstract art together!
Draw a quick sketch of the animal/person/thing you want to make abstract. Make sure to use large easy shapes – you’re going to need to color and cut them out later.
Take your construction paper (aka your final draft paper) and draw the shapes on there using your oil pastels. Try not to use a black oil pastel to draw the shapes on first, use the color you want directly for each shape. To make it easier for younger kids, you can cut out the shapes they drew and trace them onto the final sheet for them to color in. Don’t worry about going outside the lines too much, we will be cutting the shapes out so the excess can be cut off later.
Color in your shapes, feel free to add some highlighting or use two hues in one shape to create the illusion of depth.
Cut your shapes out and rearrange on a contrasting colored paper.
Try different arrangements. You don’t need to glue them down if you don’t want.
It can be used as a puzzle piece later, or an ever changing abstraction!
Try to turn it into something else – take your imagination to the next level!
Can you believe the image below is the exact same one as above it is just flipped 180 degrees!?
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