Kind. Lesson 3

Art History:  Kindergarten Lesson 3

Home     Kindergarten   Grade 1   Grade 2   Grade 3   Grade 4   Grade 5   Grade 6  
Artists Timeline     Periods in Art History 

  ART ALL AROUND - Colors make shapes

bulletBackground Information


Last month we saw art everywhere. Today we'll talk about how that art was made. Color, shapes and lines are just as important to an artist as his tools and materials. Let's examine color and how artists use it with shapes to make paintings.

Thoughts on color that may be used throughout the lesson.

  1. Imagine how to describe color to a blind person. The shape of a color often gives us different feelings about that color. For example, red can be a sign of danger in a stoplight or it can be a sign of love in a rose or heart. Green can be a sign of joy and hope in spring or cold and depressing in the decay of moldy food.
  2. Are the colors and shapes harmonious or contrasting? An harmonious composition can include contrasting color if the colors and shapes are in harmonious proportions. Contrasting colors stand apart so we see a difference between them and have a feeling pf change and visual movement. The contrasts can be light and dark or warm and cool. Opposite, complimentary colors on the color wheel vibrate against each other.
  3. Think about warm and cool colors. What color combinations do you see in nature?
  4. Are the colors pure or grayed (intense or soft)?


  1. Color Wheel Palette, Graphic.
  2. The Old King, 1936, Georges Roualt, French (1871-1958) oil on canvas, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Reproduction print.


  3. Felt Board and Shapes, Materials for Old King.
    Use the felt board and shapes to recreate the "Old King". Talk about the colors using the color wheel palette. Does the Old King remind you of a stained glass window in a church.? Why is the Old King carrying flowers? Why might they be white?


  4. Flower Petals, , Henri Matisse, French (1869-1954) paper on canvas, Collection Galerie Beyeler, Reproduction print.
    Matisse cut shapes out of brightly colored paper. What do the shapes and colors suggest.?

    He carefully placed the shapes, repeating shapes to create movement and pleasing composition.

    Matisse uses lines as lines and shapes as shapes - playing with the variations.

    Henri Matisse was the leader of the Fauve movement and one of the most creative French artists of the 20th century. his early years in Paris were spent working in the studio of Gustave Moreau and in copying the old masters in the Louvre. The development of his style reflects the influence of contemporary artistic currents. Finding Impressionists' and Divisionists' use of color limited, Matisse forged ahead until his artistic vision reached its logical conclusion in fauvism. The exaltation of bright color, arrayed and controlled in simple flat areas, found expression in a wide range of subjects; still lifes, interior scenes, odalisques, and portraits. Criticized in France, Matisse found encouragement in the patronage of Gertrude Stein and the Russian collectors., Stchonkine and Rocosoff, who helped gain recognition for his work. Matisse settled in Nice in 1917 and continued to explore the possibilities of light and color., deliberately and eloquently reduced to their essentials. Examples of his meticulous method are to be seen in his careful pen sketches whose sharp clean lines result in spontaneous purity. Bedridden after a serious operation in 1941, Matisse began to experiment with brightly-painted paper which he cut into imaginative shapes and arranged in vivacious compositions. The culmination of Matisse's creative activity is visible today in the Dominican Chapel at Venice, for which he designed everything from the stained glass windows, the liturgical objects and vestments to the tiles on the roof and the cross on the tower. The total effect of the stark white walls with black-lines drawings opposite shimmering blue-green windows is one of a radiantly spiritual serenity.

    (See also Grade 4 Lesson 5 for more Henri Matisse)


  5. Iris, 1954, Morris Louis, American (1912-1962 ) Reproduction Print
    How many shapes can you find?

    Are they formed by the colors or the lines?

    Name the colors. Are they grayed or bright?

    Do they remind you of a flower?

    Explain how this picture is different from Matisse's "Flower Petals".

    How does this painting make you feel?


  6. Color-aid Paper
    Use this paper to show the variety of colors you can achieve by mixing red and blue. Which colors have more blue? More red? Matisse used similar paper for his cutouts.


  7. Black Iris, 1926, Georgia O'Keeffe, American (1887-1986) Reproduction print.
      Born in Wisconsin, O'Keefe studied in Wisconsin, Chicago and New York. She never painted the human figure, concentrating instead on close-up views of flowers for which she is best known. These paintings reveal elemental shapes common to many natural forms. Nature offered forms or shapes that could be removed from their original context and made into art. Clean contours and smooth shapes and simplified forms - Black Iris magnifies each element.

    (See also Grade 2 Lesson 4 for more Georgia O'Keeffe)



Back Home Up Next    

Email : webmaster with questions about this web site
Copyright 1999 - 2019  Cape One            
Last modified: January 05, 2019  



privacy policy