Shape and Color!

2This last Saturday we had our first Exploring Artism session of the school year. In this session, we talked about shape and color while looking at some abstract paintings by John Hoyland, a modern British artist.

We started our morning by talking about shape and color and how both of these work together in an artwork. Many people even have a favorite shape or a favorite color, and we talked about those as well.

Next, we ventured into the galleries to look at the John Hoyland paintings, Shine 8.3.83 and The Full Mad Moon 27.2.90. Since we are not able to provide pictures of the paintings that we looked at in the Yale Center for British Art, here and here are some examples of Hoyland’s work. We began our discussion by talking about the types of shapes and colors that Hoyland uses. Understanding the difference between warm and cool colors is helpful in viewing Hoyland’s paintings. Warm and Cool Colors_Page_1Warm and Cool Colors_Page_2

We also talked about foreground, background, size and scale and how knowledge of these artistic aspects help us to talk about art.


In the galleries, everyone was able to create a temporary artwork using felt sheets, felt shapes and yarn. Participants and families were invited to create their own Hoyland inspired composition while being especially aware of the use of color and shape. Everyone had the opportunity to present and discuss their felt composition in front of the Hoyland paintings.

Two of our young artists’ felt compositions:

Felt Comps

After getting to see Hoyland’s artwork, and getting to create a temporary composition out of felt, participants were then able to compose a permanent piece using oil pastels.


Here are two oil pastel compositions created by participants:


Here is the worksheet about oil pastels that participants used:

Worksheet created with
Worksheet created with

Finally, everyone had the opportunity to share their artwork with the rest of the group.

Photo by Cameron! Artist and participant.
Photo by Cameron, artist and participant.
Photo by Cameron, artist and participant.
Photo by Cameron, artist and participant.

Join us for our next Exploring Artism session on October 19! Please call 203-432-2858 or email the YCBA Education Department with your name and phone number to register.

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>