Charles Demuth Cool Colors Number Five Art Project

I've been buried in art classes and prep work and haven't had time to sit and blog a lesson lately. This is one I did two weeks ago at one of the schools I work at. I have been captivated by this print by Charles Demuth for a long time, because I love  the use of numbers and text in art. There are many lessons you could do based on this print-I came up with this one because I had just finished another project using black paper and cool colors and it turned out great. (It was a portrait of Medusa), so I thought why not the number 5?


1/2 of 22x28 black poster board
white colored pencil
acrylic paint in cool colors, plus white
cup (to trace for the circle shape)

I did this project with grades K-5. For the Kinders I drew the number 5 on the poster board before class using the white pencil. The kids used a plastic cup to trace on 5 circles anywhere they wanted, and a ruler to draw 5 lines. For the older kids I let them do their own number 5.  Prior to the start of class I had mixed up some blues and greens with white (to make them more opaque and bright on the black background). The kids used these colors to fill in all the spaces they had made on their posters, being careful not to put the same color next to itself. This was not as easy as it sounds. They were challenged as they got farther along in their painting. For the Kinders I used some black paint to outline to re-discover their shapes and their number 5. The older kids were able to paint neater and keep their sections defined. Below are some of the first and second grade pictures:

Here are some of the 3-5th graders projects:


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