The Ackerman's created a wide variety of designs out of a wide range of materials for over 50 years. The work they created went hand and hand with the mid century architecture and furnishings being created in California during that time. Jerome focused on clay while Evelynn explored paintings, wall hangings, and mosaics. I came across Evelynn's work when it was featured on the mid-centuria design blog.
One tapestry in particular stood out to me due to her use of shape and color.
I then found another example of this design in a different color scheme.
I used these two tapestries to introduce the 1st graders to analogous color groups, or color families. We did a quick compare and contrast and we realized that the size and placement of the shapes was the same, but the colors were totally different. I then introduced them to the three analogous families that are created when you use the primary colors to make the secondaries.
We executed the drawing with markers and colored pencils, The markers providied bold colors, while the colored pencils could provide both bold and light by changing the amount of pressure you applied while coloring. This ability to press softly for lighter tones is a challenge for some students and it's important to grasp, so they can create value variety, as well as implied depth or volume in their work.
The drawing was directed for the first few steps in order to build the main flower shapes and eyeball, but then we added shapes or line anywhere. For example, I modeled adding 9 short straight lines, then 7 curved lines, and then 5 small circles. Where they placed those shapes was up to them. I emphasized looking at what they had already drawn and responding to it to decide the best places for new parts.