This activity is inspired by Interwoven Coloured Triangles, an abstract painting by artist Pamela Muriel Ward (1908–1994).
The painting is formed of overlapping triangles that are painted in bright colours. Some of the overlapping areas of the triangles are painted in different colours, creating new shapes.
The activity is designed for KS 1 / CfE Year 1 students but is also suitable for KS 2 / CfE Level 2 students.
Families could also try this activity at home.
Students will need:
shape templates to draw around (these could be objects such as round jar lids or square boxes or you could make shape templates from cardboard)
paint and brushes or crayons
plain paper to draw and paint on
coloured tissue paper (if you are making a collage)
Gather together a range of shape templates to draw around.
Arrange the shape templates on the paper, with the shapes overlapping.
Students could either combine lots of different shapes or use different sized templates of just one shape – triangles, circles or rectangles.
Once you are happy with how your shapes look, draw around the templates.
Students may need help with holding the templates in place as they draw around them.
Paint or colour the drawn shapes, using different colours for the different shapes including the new shapes formed by the overlapping areas.
Have lots of bright coloured paints or crayons available.
Or you could suggest that students use a narrower range of colours (red, yellow and orange or blue, green and yellow) – to encourage them to think about the relationship between colours, warm and cold colours and how to mix colours.
Find out more about teaching young students about colours and the colour wheel with this free blog from Access Arts:
Instead of drawing and painting an abstract picture, students could cut out shapes to make a collage. Use tissue paper or coloured cellophane so that the overlapping areas of the shapes can be seen through the layers.
Explore more abstract paintings made from shapes for ideas and inspiration:
Hexagon Sequence II c.1970
Rosalie de Meric (1916–1999)
Sekela Khuluma 1980
Terry Edmond (1947–2020)
Painting/Maquette No 2 (Mixed Media) 1960s
Malcolm Edward Hughes (1920–1997)
1945 (2 circles) 1945
Ben Nicholson (1894–1982)
Circus Boy 2003
Juan Bolivar (b.1966)
Untitled No. 144 1974
Paul Huxley (b.1938)
Composition in Red and Green, Squares and Circles 1963
Anwar Jalal Shemza (1928–1985)
Timothy Drever (b.1935)
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