The Shapes & Colors of John McLean’s Black Watch
On Saturday, March 15, new families joined returning families for Exploring Artism. The day’s theme was inspired by the artwork of John McLean and his painting hanging in the Yale Center for British Art. More information and images of John McLean’s artwork can be found at the BBC’s Your Paintings – John McLean.
Students began by reviewing the names of shapes: rectangles, squares, triangles and trapezoids. To remember what makes a shape a trapezoid, everyone rocked out to The Trapezoid Song. We looked at two review sheets as a warm-up activity. You can find them here and here.
Sitting in front of McLean’s painting, Black Watch, we asked ourselves: What shapes do you see? What colors do you see? How do you think the artist made this? Then, everyone assembled their own “copy” with colored paper shapes, somewhat similar to a McLean-inspired Tangram. First, participants were asked to recreate the McLean painting. Then, participants were asked to create their own McLean-inspired composition.
After cleaning up in the galleries, everyone went back to the Docent Room to create a more permanent McLean-inspired artwork. Using vellum, tissue paper, sponge brushes, and glue, participants were able to create their own artwork using Black Watch as a guide. They were able to choose their own shapes and colors for the composition.
Everyone had the opportunity to share their finished composition with the rest of the group!