Creating Artworks inspired by Mark Rothko...

Do you want your class to create some abstract artworks?  Well, why not use Mark Rothko as inspiration.  These are the steps I took to get my 8 - 10 year old children to create their own inspired Rothko artworks.
I created a booklet which contained the tasks below.

Task 1:
I showed the children two different artworks by Mark Rothko.  Artwork one 'Rust and Blue,' and another artwork with pinks and red.

Children viewed these artworks and where asked:
  • What do you feel when you look at this artwork?
  • What do you think it is about?
  • Can you give this artwork a name?
This provided great discussion within the class.  It allowed the children to have their own views of Mark Rothko's artworks and reasons for this.

Task 2:
Viewing and Sketching...
Use the Internet: Google: “Mark Rothko” select images. Pick four images you like and sketch these. You will need to use coloured pencils, pastels....crayons to record the colours used.

Try to pick canvases that use different colors. Look at all the artworks you’ve sketched: What do you notice is similar? What is different?

Task 3:
Creating your own Mark Rothko inspired artwork.
You are going to create your own Mark Rothko’s inspired masterpiece.  The children also viewed some other Rothko inspired artworks by other children.  Click here.

Think of an emotion or feeling...happy...sad....excited....jealous…..

My emotion I am going to show is…..

Start exploring the colour palette you want to use.  Look at the colour wheel.What colours will I use to show this emotion.

Reading the children the book My Many Coloured Days, By Dr. Seuss also helps to get children talking about feelings and color.

BUDDY CHECK - Get together with a buddy and share your ideas.
Composition: Now start exploring the composition you will use...where will you place the colour, what balance of colours will you use?

Children used chalk pastels for their artworks…on embossed canvased paper.
Original design is on the right... 
For the base color some children used watercolor pencils…when this dried they went over with chalk pastels.
Tip: get children to put a white piece of paper on top of their work…it is easy for chalk pastels to smudge.

Below are some of the artworks created by my class..

A slide show with all the Rothko inspired artworks created by children...

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