An Abstract “Musical Composition”!

Abstract art is a great way to teach composition and the Elements of Art… without the intimidation that can occur when striving for realism.  Take some musical symbols and create a random layout… and have fun with it!!
  • 12×18 black construction paper
  • Oil pastels (we used the Pentel 16 color set)
1. Sketch your design using a white oil pastel.  Include at least 3 or 4 musical elements, overlap them and crop some of them, letting the edges go right off the page!  Avoid lines that go into the corners or divide your paper down the middle.  Try to keep your composition balanced, so that one area isn’t over-loaded and another area empty.
2. Notice how the overlapping elements create new shapes in the background.  Color each of those shapes differently!  Always layer your oil pastels… for example, you might lay down a light blue, then a darker blue, then finish with some white on top.  Try to have at least two layers of oil pastel everywhere, for the richest, most interesting colors.  Play “hide the black paper” – don’t leave any areas of plain paper showing!
3. Finally, outline with black to make your design really pop!

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3 Responses to An Abstract “Musical Composition”!

  1. I just did a project using Picasso's painting “Three Musicians” to introduce students to collage.

    I have to say most of my students struggle with the composition.

    I enjoyed reading your description of how to successfully create a musical composition.

    Thanks for posting

  2. TeachKidsArt March 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Yes, we used that same Picasso painting to talk about the “flattened” effect in this project!

  3. maddison July 31, 2014 at 1:54 am #

    I love abstract art it has so much going on in one picture