Family Magazine

Mark Rothko Abstract Art

By Kathybarbro @KathyBarbro
Mark Rothko Abstract ArtMark Rothko emerged during the 1940s to create a new and impassioned form of abstract painting. My goal was to have students make a simple abstract picture, and let the visual “weight” of each color determine their order.1. I gave students pre-cut cardboard rectangles measuring 2.25" x 8", 3.5" x 8", and 4.5" x 8". They were labeled A, B and C respectively so A=smallest, B=medium, C=largest rectangle. On a 9" x 12" sheet of paper, they centered and traced each rectangle, in any order. I recommended that they center and trace the two outside shapes first and then finish with the middle.
2. Ask the students to choose 3 oil pastels, preferably 3 that are very different from each other. All colors have a different visual weight to them – generally darker colors are heavy and brighter colors are light. The students fill the lightest weight color in the smallest rectangle, the medium in medium size and the heaviest in the largest rectangle. If they have trouble deciding, encourage them to just make their best guess. The point is for them to start thinking of colors from a new angle, not to be worried about right or wrong answers.
3. Lastly, a fourth color is chosen and colored in all around the rectangles, overlapping on the edges to get a painterly look. Heavy coloring, as always, looks best. 

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