Magazine article School Arts

Abstract Sculpture & Henry Moore

Magazine article School Arts

Abstract Sculpture & Henry Moore

Article excerpt

This is one of my favorite lessons because the kids are so impressed with themselves when they find that they can actually work abstractly. I introduce abstraction through a two-dimensional project which transforms a realistic drawing into a naturalistic abstraction and then to a non-objective abstract drawing.


1. The armature should be no bigger than 18 x 18" 946 x 46 cm).

2. Cover the armature with a skin of papier-mache Make the covering as smooth as possible. Use newspaper first, then paper towels as the final coating.

3. Paint the sculpture with tempera (thick, opaque water-based paint). Painting the work is as important as designing it. Paint can enhance a form or totally annihilate it.

4. Options to consider:

a. Use shading to make small parts seem smaller and large parts seem larger or the other way around. Use bright colors for the large and darker colors for the small. Use the opposite colors to do the opposite effect. Use a sponge after the first coat is applied.

b. Camouflage it in allover patterns. Use complementary colors. Use a stencil to make the pattern the same all over.

c. Do a monochromatic plan of all one color adding black and white to change the hue.

d. Turn it into a rock or marble by painting it first gray and then sponging on rockish effects in white and purple and blue, shading the deep parts darkly and the high spots lightly.

e. Paint it all black. Let it dry and paint all the deep areas green and blue, and leave the high areas, black. …

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