Abstract art has been around for well over 100 years. Why is it so popular?

You may be an abstract lover, abstract naysayer, or just confused about the concept of abstract in general. However, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon – so might as well embrace it! The main characteristic of abstract art is that it has no recognizable subject. Nonetheless, I believe that abstract art is derived from what we see in reality and translated into something different or mixed with something from our imagination.

In the world of child development you may hear phrases like “critical thinking skills” and “creative problem-solving abilities” when referring to the goals for child’s cognitive development. What they are really talking about is… imagination. The way to create human beings with imagination is to provide them with opportunities to develop it for themselves when they are very young. These opportunities are found in one place and one place only… play. Playing with paints, playing with play dough, with costumes, with glue and with crayons. Making a mess. Exploring the woods. Splashing in a puddle. Wondering at a caterpillar you notice inching by you. Pretending to be a bird, gliding through the sky. (1)

With that being said, let’s dive into the ocean, play with some crabs and create some abstract art together!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

You can find the products below at Amazon, Dick Blick, C2F, H.E.B, Pens Etc and United Art and Education. Click on the image itself to shop for it at our Amazon store.

Cubism project using maped products

Abstract project using maped products

Abstract project using maped products

Step 1

Draw a quick sketch of the animal/person/thing you want to make abstract. Make sure to use large easy shapes – you’re going to need to color and cut them out later.

Abstract project using maped products

Step 2

Take your construction paper (aka your final draft paper) and draw the shapes on there using your oil pastels. Try not to use a black oil pastel to draw the shapes on first, use the color you want directly for each shape. To make it easier for younger kids, you can cut out the shapes they drew and trace them onto the final sheet for them to color in. Don’t worry about going outside the lines too much, we will be cutting the shapes out so the excess can be cut off later.

Abstract project using maped products

Step 3

Color in your shapes, feel free to add some highlighting or use two hues in one shape to create the illusion of depth.

Abstract project using maped products

Step 4

Cut your shapes out and rearrange on a contrasting colored paper.

Abstract project using maped products

Try different arrangements. You don’t need to glue them down if you don’t want.

Abstract project using maped products

It can be used as a puzzle piece later, or an ever changing abstraction!

Abstract project using maped products

Try to turn it into something else – take your imagination to the next level!

Abstract project using maped products

Can you believe the image below is the exact same one as above it is just flipped 180 degrees!?

Abstract project using maped products

Variations

For younger kids who don’t know how to draw yet, have them color an entire sheet of paper using oil pastels.

Abstract project using maped products

Sketch out what you want to draw on the paper they just colored – you only have one chance with this!

Abstract project using maped products

Using a black oil pastel, draw the it onto the final paper.

Abstract project using maped products

Cut out all the lines you drew. If you drew an eye you can leave that.

Abstract project using maped products

Have them rearrange the pieces. Don’t be afraid to overlap! Get creative and have fun!

Abstract project using maped products

Source (1) www.childtime.com/parent-resource-center/parenting-articles/the-importance-of-imagination