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!!
  • 12x18 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

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