Magic program brings art online

26th November 2004 at 00:00
I did this cross-curricular project on creating pictures with Year 2. It took in art, maths and ICT. We used Colour Magic from RM, and every week we explored the work of a famous artist on the internet and introduced a new Colour Magic tool.

In the first lesson we looked at Jackson Pollock. I told pupils to take a black "paint brush" and "take it for a walk across the screen in curved pathways". We then experimented with "infilling" some of the spaces.

In the second week we investigated Piet Mondrian. We talked about vertical and horizontal lines and squares and rectangles, and used the line tool to create horizontal and vertical designs. We filled these in using primary colours, and discussed what these were and what was meant by the term.

In the third week it was the turn of Henri Matisse. We looked at his painting of a snail, focusing on the word "spiral". The Tate Gallery website was useful here; it builds the picture up piece by piece.

Using the "shapes" tool the children created their own snail pictures. In the top left-hand corner of Matisse's painting is a tiny snail. Children were fascinated by this and many of them incorporated a secret snail of their own in their pictures. In the fourth week we looked at aboriginal art. The children used the spray tool to build up their pictures with dots in earth colours. Our fifth artist was Georgia O'Keefe, and children used the symmetry function to created large blooms based on her work.

In the final lesson, I showed them the work of Wassily Kandinsky and they used all the tools and the skills they had learned to create a "Kandinsky" of their own like Year 2 pupil Katie Howard's, shown below. They learned myriad skills and the work produced was very good. Websites we found particularly useful were: www.commondrian

Pat Dowsing

Deputy head and KS1 leader, Trinity St Mary's Primary School, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today