When we made our recycled bottle koinobori recently, Immy was fascinated by the way the colour she was drawing and colouring with filtered through the clear plastic of the bottle onto the tabletop she was working upon. This observation inspired this very simple exploration of science through art, an experiment with colour and light.
Before we began I googled images of artworks by famous artist, Wassily Kandinsky, as I thought his work with bold colour would be the perfect inspiration for experimenting with coloured filters. After we had looked at some images together, talking about what these largely abstract works made us think of and what we noticed most about them, I gave Immy some coloured permanent marker pens and clear laminating pouches that I had laminated closed with nothing in them.
She began by drawing lots of intersecting, swirling lines and colouring in the shapes they made, something that I remember doing myself as a child.
Taking a break from that piece, she started work on another laminating sheet drawing bold shapes of colour, clearly inspired by Kandinsky’s work.
As a strong burst of sunlight came through our playroom window, I suggested she hold up her artworks to the window to see what happened. The light filtered through the colours beautifully.
Which inspired her back to the table to keep working, where she kept alternating between one design and the other.
We have had such fun exploring these simple colour filters, waiting for the Winter’s sun to shine through our window so that we can catch the colours in our hands or watch them fall on different objects and surfaces. Sometimes we hold them in front of our white walls to see if our various household lights and lamps are strong enough to filter the colours onto the wall. There has been lots of experimentation, trial and error and looking at cause and effect. But to my 5 year old, it’s all just about playing with colour.
My new book, Time to Create, explores art making as an important tool to support the learning of young children across all areas of development. Be sure to check it out.