Saturday, December 18, 2010

Keith Haring Action Figures

We used Keith Haring's dancing figures as a way to discuss the Principles of Art. After much discussion, we decided that we were able to hit on every single one through a simple marker composition of two dancing figures! The kids had a great time with this one, and while the monotony of the radiating patterned lines got to some of them, they were proud of their finished product!

We discussed the Principles of Design and when finished, I had students write their "answers" down in groups. You can read what they wrote in quotes at the end of each Principle:

Emphasis in a composition refers to developing points of interest to pull the viewer's eye to important parts of the body of the work. "The emphasis of this work is clearly the dancing figures, which are large and solid-colored. The "hot" color scheme also is brighter than the cool colors, giving a bit more emphasis to that figure and pattern."

Balance is a sense of stability in the body of work. Balance can be created by repeating same shapes and by creating a feeling of equal weight. "We worked to create balance by making our figures the same size on each side of the paper."

Harmony is achieved in a body of work by using similar elements throughout the work, harmony gives an uncomplicated look to your work. "The patterned lines give harmony to this composition. Because there are radiating lines everywhere, the composition is harmonious!"

Variety refers to the differences in the work, You can achieve variety by using difference shapes, textures, colors and values in your work. "Though both figures are the same (dancers) they had to be in different positions, which created variety!"

Movement adds excitement to your work by showing action and directing the viewers eye throughout the picture plane. "The radiating lines around the figures makes them look like they are moving, even though they are not!"

Rhythm is a type of movement in drawing and painting. It is seen in repeating of shapes and colors. Alternating lights and darks also give a sense of rhythm. "There is rhythm that we created by using patterns of hot colors and cool colors".

Proportion or scale refers to the relationships of the size of objects in a body of work. Proportions gives a sense of size seen as a relationship of objects. such as smallness or largeness. "If they head was too large, or the arms were too short or too long, the bodies would not have been in proportion."

Unity is seen in a painting or drawing when all the parts equal a whole. Your work should not appear disjointed or confusing. "The two parts of this drawing are unified because they represent Keith Haring's work and have patterns".

This work was done by my fourth graders, as was the writing.
Happy Creating!


  1. Wow, you 4th graders are better writers than my 8th graders!!!! Good for them. My hats off to their classroom teachers or whoever is teaching them writing.

  2. nice to see this Keith Haring Dancing figures paints. Thanks for Sharing this with us.