A.N.Y.: Finding Rothko

Whether in the National Gallery (top), the Phillips Collection in DC or the Modern ABEX show in NY (lower), you will find roomfuls of Rothkos as a museum staple.

Sometimes something ordinary becomes something extraordinary, just because the people and input from students make it become something else. I had kept my third grade so tight for so many weeks either on tiny intricate collage pieces, when we got to learning about the Element of Color, I wanted them to have fun.

Painting large rectangles on 18×24″ construction paper (below, bottom), with a limited palette did the trick, and I could throw in the color wheel, complementary and analogous colors for good measure. Kids painted outside their classrooms on the floor with big brushes. That is, however, after doing learning goal, and a brief video that I put together for them.

   I liked the lesson so much, I had my principal do an informal and formal lesson observation. The color wheel (right), which is based upon Johannes Itten’s Color Star (left), is also a look at tints and shades. All colors, unfortunately had to be premixed, for time, but the kids have a lot of fun filling in. I had to develop more formal means before they started this year, as initially for some, it is confusing. Also they can team, and that seems to help, for each hue is set up by table and they move from hue table to hue table at their own pace. The “3” and “5”  you see are part of the Marzano scaling of how well the kids understand the goal, before and after the project.

The first finished, gets to mix all of the colors together (brown) and drop it in the center of the wheel, as I have consistently done that for all my color wheels, to explain brown as not part of the spectrum.

I love this lesson, and will repeat it. The kids are doing great. One said today, that art we are doing is “abstract.” It is fun listening as they say, “no that one is the tint, not the shade!” Next time we can talk a little more about color field painting!


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2 Responses to “A.N.Y.: Finding Rothko”

  1. dweebcentric Says:

    yes! you posted it!

  2. http://i-krankenkasse.ch Says:


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