A project on symmetry and monochromatic colors that I recently designed for the fifth graders in my art room was very successful. Our bandannas were a real hit with me and my students. They looked great on display in the main entrance of our school.
We began by looking at real cloth bandannas in many colors for our inspiration. I introduced the design motif of the paisley shape and the students noticed how it was shaped like a curled leaf or rain droplet. Some could see the similarity of the paisley and the ying yang symbol. I had the students take a 9 inch square of colored construction paper and fold it in half and in half again to make four equal sections. As an alternative, they could do the folds diagonally to make an on point design.
Students could begin in the center and work toward the edges. They were to use a repeating paisley shape as part of the design. A few students made a template of the paisley shape to keep the shape a standard size. Diamond and dots were also a suggestion as shapes that could work well for repeats. Dashed and dotted lines were common ways to divide up the 9 inch square. Many 5th grade artists lined up a border near the edge of the square and concentrated the patterns near the frame. Everyone sketched lightly in pencil and outlined all the shapes in permanent black marker. When this was done, we added white paint to accent the images. Again dots, dashes, paisley, diamonds were highlighted.Next, we framed the bandanna art by using a 12 inch square as a backing. Most students used black or dark gray, but white was also a popular choice. A few picked a tint of the bandanna color. Student helpers cut lots of colored paper, scrap bandanna art, and scrapbookers paper in bandanna print into an assortment of squares, rectangles, and triangles. Everyone was very creative as they used these cut outs in a mosaic fashion around the edges of the bandanna art.