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Title – Do Something about…
School Violence Art Curricula Unit
Day 2: The Emotional Aspects Of Color

Subjects:

Art, Social Studies  

Grades:

9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Do Something about… School Violence
Art Curricula Unit
Day 2: The Emotional Aspects Of Color
By – Do Something, Inc. / www.dosomething.org
Primary Subject – Art
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – 9-12

Do Something about…
School Violence
Art Curricula
15-Day Unit

The following lesson is the second lesson of a 15-day
School Violence Art Curricula Unit from Do Something, Inc.
Other lessons in this unit are as follows:

Day 1: Shape and Feeling
Students explore the use of abstract shapes and the feelings they evoke
Day 2: The Emotional Aspects Of Color (See lesson below)
The students learn about the emotional and physiological affects of color
Day 3: Jackson Pollack – Lines Convey Emotion
Jackson Pollack – Students explore the use of line to convey emotion
Day 4: Goya and Picasso – Shapes And Composition
Goya and Picasso – The students w explore two paintings and their use of shapes
Day 5: Power Of Language
Students will explore the power of words in art
Day 6: Tree Of Decisions
Students explore different choices and outcomes and use the branching pattern
Day 7: Conversations And Arguments With Lines
Students learn to use visual language to have a conversation
Day 8: Keith Haring Figures Part I – Conflict Resolution
Students work together to create a mural modeling cooperation and conflict resolution
Day 9: Keith Haring Figures Part II
Day 10: Keith Haring Figures Part III
Day 11: Keith Haring Figures Part IV
Day 12: Safe Carriers Part I
Students use modern packaging materials to create a safe place
Day 13: Safe Carriers Part II
Day 14: Safe Carriers Part III
Day 15: Final Project
Students create artwork based on their knowledge of line, shape, color, words and emotion

 

More student resources for this cause are at:
www.dosomething.org/causes/school_violence

 

For more Service-Learning Curricula check out:
www.dosomething.org/oldpeople

Day 2: The Emotional Aspects of Color

Goal:

    Students learn about the emotional and physiological affects of color.

Process:

  1. Artists understand the power of color in affecting the viewer’s feelings. Throughout art history, artists have used color to convey and heighten the emotional content of a painting. In the early twentieth century, artists began to focus on color as a direct translation of their feelings, and to use color as an emotional force. This group of artists was called the Fauves (or the wild beasts in French) and they included Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958), and Andre Derain (1880-1954.)
  2. Project on a white board screen or print a large reproduction of Matisse’s Harmony in Red (Red Room) 1908-9. www.artchive.com/artchive/m/matisse/harmony_in_red.jpg Red is the predominant color in the painting. How would we feel about the painting if it was mostly green? Or overwhelmingly blue instead of red? How does the predominant redness make us feel? The color red usually makes us feel warmth because we associate it with the sun and fire, but also because the color red has a physiological effect on us that excites and stimulates. More energy is reflected from warm colors than from the cooler ones. “Warm” colors – red, yellow and orange – traditionally are thought to evoke feelings of heat, whether psychological or real.
  3. “Cool” colors are believed to evoke colder or darker emotions and they can have a calming effect on us. Look at a painting from Picasso’s Blue Period like The Tragedy, 1903: http://www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/pimage?46388+0+0 . Even without knowing the title of the painting you understand that these figures are not happy. There are many other things that help you sense this, but the mood is created by the overall coloration. How would this painting feel if the overall tone were red or yellow?
  4. We often refer to color when we talk about our feelings. Ask the students to brainstorm about using color to describe emotions: “I’m feeling blue” or “I’m so happy I want to paint the town red.” We also talk about looking at the world through “rose colored glasses” or being so angry that you were “seeing red.” What other examples can the students think of?
  5. Ask the students to think about color in their own lives. Do they wear different colors depending on how they feel in the morning? Do they wear lighter, brighter colors when they are happy and darker, cooler ones when they are feeling down? Color is also subjective. Explain that because we associate colors with objects, we will all think of different things when we see a color. What specific things do they think of when they see certain colors?
  6. Hand out the compositions the students made during the exercise on shape and feeling (Day 1). Have a variety of colored construction paper available (both warm and cool.) Ask the students to experiment with the same shapes. Ask them to change the colors of the shapes. Which colors are better suited to the “bad guy” shape? To the “good guy” shape? Have them cut out the shapes from other colors. Ask them to consider what color or colors the background should become? Is it scarier when it is white? Or red? Or a darker cool color? Remind them this is a subjective decision. There is no wrong or right, what is important is how the colors make them feel.
  7. When they have finished discuss their findings. Have them use their compositions as examples when they are talking. Which colors worked best to convey certain kinds of feelings?

Additional Activity:

    Have the students create a painting or drawing about anything they want – a topic related to safety or school in general would be best. Tell them that they can use many colors but that they one color should be strongest. Next have them re-create the painting except using a different color as the “strong” color. How does this change the painting? Does it have a different feel? A different theme?

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