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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.

Interwoven Coloured Triangles

Interwoven Coloured Triangles

Pamela Muriel Ward (1908–1994)

National Trust, Llanerchaeron

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)
  • pencil
  • paint and brushes or crayons
  • plain paper to draw and paint on
  • coloured tissue paper (if you are making a collage)


Step 1

Gather together a range of shape templates to draw around.

Shape templates

Shape templates


Step 2

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.


Step 3

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.


Step 4

Paint or colour the drawn shapes, using different colours for the different shapes including the new shapes formed by the overlapping areas.

Abstract shapes painting

Abstract shapes painting

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:

Colour Wheel for Infants and Juniors


More ideas…

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.

Circles collage

Circles collage


Explore more abstract paintings made from shapes for ideas and inspiration:

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