A while back, while searching through the depths of Pinterest projects, I found a lot of simple yet modern paintings. I felt inspired to try it myself. So I grabbed my easel and my new set of Grumbacher Academy Acrylics and played around.
You may have seen the style before: they usually consist of one to four solid colors with dynamic white lines. The way it is achieved is you first put painter’s tape on the canvas where you’d like the white lines. You could make different colored lines by first painting a layer of the desired color on the canvas and then put the tape (but make sure it’s dry first!) Then you simply fill in the shapes left between the tape.
Essentially, the concept is to mask sections using straight lines, then paint the exposed canvas surface. I didn’t actually have any painter’s tape on hand. Instead, I used some washi tape and hoped it would work. Before starting, I had the general idea to use spring-like colors and that’s it. Sometimes it’s best to ‘give in’ to the artistic process and just see what happens. In the end, I think it turned out pretty well.
A couple weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to teach a class at a local homeschool group. It was a fun opportunity, but I wasn’t sure what exactly I could teach. In many (practically all) ways, I feel like a student myself. My mom suggested the painting above, and it was the perfect project.
I have to admit I was a bit nervous going in. I had teaching experience from being a Girl Scout and some school projects, but this felt a little different. Many of the families who are in the group are good acquaintances, so I really wanted to make the class fun while educational.
There were about eight kids, and they helped make it an awesome experience. After a brief introduction about the history of Abstractive painting (specifically cubism, and the evolution of geometry in modern design), I showed them my painting as an example. Then they all raised their hands. One by one they all had compliments on my “cool” painting. My confidence more than boosted, I actually had to redirect the attention from mine so they could get started.
What they did with the concept of ‘geometric abstraction’ –a versatile term anyway—was great. They each interpreted this idea of shapes and white lines in a unique and surprising way. Some of them went beyond just coloring them in, and experimented with various textures and patterns.
One adorable little student finished early (his painting is above) and wanted to make a second one. I only had limited supplies, so his mom prompted him to ask where I bought them. They made plans to make more at home. Later on, more kids said they wanted to paint this again at home.
As class ended, things got a little crazy as their families came to get them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get many pictures of the paintings without the tape. But I did get a little on video!
Throughout the hour, the kids were enthusiastic and super imaginative. It was a genuine pleasure sharing this project with them.