Piet Mondrian Activities
Art Appreciation, Uncategorized

4 Piet Mondrian Activities For Kids

Piet Mondrian, a man who was raised to breathe, sleep, and devour art by his father, and who seemed to regurgitate the exact replicas of the masters who came before him.  That is until he broke away and became his own man.  He found great influence by his stint in Paris and friendship with Vincent Van Gogh…and I believe that’s when his story began…

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We reviewed what a line was, the variations it could take, and the tools we could utilize to draw them.

Then they really loved this video’s brief and fun representation of line in art for the kids:

We Then looked at several works of Mondrian’s later life to review the different ways he utilized line.

Hands, Lines, & Self-Expression

Although you could utilize lines in a self-portrait, I decided it would be easier for my kids to trace their hands.  I was inspired by a pin of zentangles in a hand, and wanted the kids to have that kind of fun with lines.  While zentangles proved a bit too daunting, they enjoyed exploring different types of lines all the same.

Supplies:

The Rules of the Activity:

  1. Fill the hands with representations of who you are.
  2. Only use lines.
  3. Use at least 5 different types of lines.
  4. Fill the entire hand.

These hands are representative of my 10, 7, & 5 year olds’.

Day Two: Piet’s Transformation

The Warm Up

Quickly sketch an architectural wonder like Pantheon, Stonehenge, Falling Water, but your lines can’t touch.

The Study

The most fascinating thing about Piet for me was his transformation across his entire lifespan.  In order to appreciate his work you must appreciate his entire life’s journey, and that, to me, is incredible.

After reviewing the fun above video, we looked at three different pictures Piet Mondrian painted of trees and discussed their differences.

                                                                                                     Which is your favorite???

Re-imagining A Tree

One of my favorite Instagram art teachers is 2art.chambers, everyone should follow her and be inspired by her no matter their age,  does foil prints with her students.  I wanted sooooo badly to incorporate it into this tree lesson.  As it was our first try, our finished products were not 100% flawless, but the kids loved this activity all the same.

Supplies:

The Rules of the Activity:

  1. Pick one tree
  2. Taking 10, 6, and 3 minutes sketch that same tree in different ways
  3. Look at the lines you used to draw the tree. Then Draw the final tree using the lines you experimented with outside.
  4. Outline the final tree in permanent black marker.
  5. Using foil (not the fancy non-stick kind) color a fun design with washable markers.
  6. Quickly and firmly press your foil onto your tree drawing.  Be sure to press, pound, rub, and maybe even perform a little tap dance to be sure the ink transfers from the foil onto your sheet.

These trees are representative of my 10, 7, & 5 year olds’.

Day Three: Piet’s Transformation

The Warm Up

Piet Mondrian Activities

Sometimes, due to age difference it is difficult to engage all three children, so this morning I decided to give each child a project of their own.

  • Set out white, red, yellow, black, and blue Legos and a gray square plate to abstract.
  • Cut squares and stripes out of construction paper and leave them to glue them into place.
  • Leave out gel glue, popsicle sticks and washable markers to recreate Mondrian’s “Boogie Woogie” 

The Study

Piet wanted to break everything down to its essence, the lines and the primary colors.  Making his art so universal has made it into the icon it is today.  It has inspired fashion, design, architecture, and even music.

I watched an interview of Piet’s assistant in his very last years.  She speaks of seeing his art and feeling at first detached from it.  But then as she left his apartment building the way she saw the city was forever changed.

Being Piet for a Day

Piet’s final paintings were planned meticulously with colored tape, sticking and un-sticking until the balance and composition of his work he found perfect.  But this tape was never used as a tool for his lines, looking closely you will see that his lines were imperfect and authentically his hand.

Supplies:

The Rules of the Activity For the Younger Kids:

  1. Place various sizes of tape horizontally, diagonally, and vertically across the page.
  2. Fill 4 or 5 created spaces with primary colored paint
  3. Remove the tape and hand paint black lines wherever desired.

The Rules of the Activity For my Oldest:

  1. Without tape, use a ruler to arrive at a desired balance and composition of lines.
  2. Then Paint

More Creative Inspiration

 


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