Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Create your own camo, 5th grade

Monochromatic color schemes

Color theory and color schemes are a big part of our unit 2 curriculum, and each year 5th graders embark on a nonobjective painting project. This year we decided to turn our nonobjective color studies into camouflage designs, created for a particular setting. We began with a planning worksheet, on which we made notes about some technical parts of this painting - how to change values and intensity, how to create unity and contrast - and we also planned the shapes and colors found in a particular setting, like an urban street (geometric shapes) or a tropical rainforest (organic shapes), or maybe even a fantasy location!
We looked at examples of real military camo, then at some of Andy Warhol's pop camo designs, and finally were inspired by a different type of camo art perfected by Chinese artist Liu Bolin - amazing!
If you don't see him, look for his feet! (Liu Bolin)
Andy Warhol's camo designs
   Once our thumbnails were complete, we mixed tempera to bring our camo designs to life. Can you imagine the settings these were created for?

Analogous schemes
More analogous, in cool hues
analogous, warm
complementary schemes
Almost every hue here is a blend of red and green with neutrals... so beautiful!

This lesson is a great way to show how creating art includes problem solving and higher order thinking skills. Even thought there are parameters, each student has plenty of freedom to explore their own ideas and create a unique product.
Thanks to Center for Pictures of Abstract Art for sparking my idea (found on Pinterest), and check out another school's take on the same subject over at Art with Mr. Hall (6th graders from Australia).

A few "behind the scenes" shots....


  1. Great work year 5! And well said Mrs Knight : )

  2. These are beautiful. I love the pop culture tie-in with the camo reference.

  3. Very cool assignment. I love the red and green example with all the beautiful neutrals! That shall have to be pinned :)


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