Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sir Cumference Inspired Circle Art

In Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander, young Radius must figure out the magic number, that comes from dividing the circumference of a circle by its diameter, in order to save his father from being permanently changed into a dragon.

For his hard work, and quick understanding, he is presented with a ruler like, drawing compass, in hopes it would lead him to "other great discoveries about circles!"

We made one too, out of a strip of thin cardboard, with a hole punched every inch.

I don't know what great discoveries Radius made with his compass, but we discovered this particular style of compass can be handy for making concentric circles.

We secured the compass to a paper (in this case a big piece of freezer paper), with a paper fastener. Then, the older girls (ages 9 and 11), could put their pencils through different holes, and swing the compass around, to make different sized circles.

They moved the compass on the paper a few times. Sometimes they stopped their circles when they ran into another one, and sometimes they drew right over them them, and then erased the crossing lines from the first circle, to create an overlapping effect.

Finally, they added one independent circle, in the top corner of the sheet, by tracing a salad plate.

The girls were planning on painting in their circles, so we covered the holes made by the paper fasteners, with round stickers, to paint right over.

Before they could get the paints out, their younger sisters asked if they could help. It was getting late, and the thought of all of them trying to paint at once, sounded messy, so I convinced them just to color this one in. But first we Googled "circle art", and looked at a number of paintings by Sonia Delaunay, a "French" artist in the early-mid 1900's known for her use of orphic cubism.

In fact, Art Projects for Kids has a circular mural based on the work of Sonia's husband, Robert Delaunay, that you can purchase for download, and color in yourself. While we were looking at that, we saw another project on the site, using geometric shapes, and contrasting warm, and cool colors, that we found very inspiring.

So, after digging around for all of our green, blue, purple, red, orange, and yellow crayons, the girls set to work.

After G, headed off to youth group, and A's hand got tired, the younger children took over.

They did most of the coloring, but we did manage to get T, to contribute by coloring in one circle, to make it a family project.

When they got to the end of the circles, there was some debate, as to what color to use to fill in the blank space.

E decided to cut it away, instead of coloring it.

I think we'll be making more of these, as the older girls would still like to paint one, and the younger girls have asked for one to finger paint. Luckily for us, D has offered to let a wall, in his room, serve as our art gallery.

Maybe the girls' next projects will clash less with his wall paint. Although, being 9, he isn't too bothered by clashing colors, but he does enjoy the circles. His only dilemma, was deciding which way the piece should hang.

For more story inspired arts and crafts, check out this week's stART (story + ART) link-up at A Mommy's Adventures.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Kara said...

That's gorgeous!

Phyllis said...

I like how the colors make it look 3-D. I like how you combined the math elements with the art elements of warm and cool colors.

Debbie said...

This is wonderful! It reminded me of how my mom loved to do this same thing using a protractor, she spent hours creating all sorts of pieces of art.

htebazile said...

Wow that looks great!

Unknown said...


Christy Killoran said...

Beautiful art! I love that it became a family project.

maggy, red ted art said...

Oh my! That is a BRILLIANT bit of artwork and I LOVE how they all contributed to it. How special is that!! Lovely lovely.

Kids Get Crafty

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Wow - what a terrific art piece, and it's awesome that it became a family project. It makes me want to make one of my own too, and I especially liked the twist with a piece that is cut out - this really made this project "pop".

Ticia said...

That is a horrible dilemma. I love art like that. I seem to remember having a coloring book that was just full of pictures like that.

Anonymous said...

I find the final result is reminiscent of Van Gogh's Starry Night.

April said...

I love how you incorporate so many subjects into one. That's great...literature/history/art/math. You are an expert mom/teacher!

Elle Belles Bows said...


That is all I can think of to say! I don't think I would ever take it down! Kerri

Anonymous said...

What a great way to cover so many skills!

Michelle said...

Oh my goodness I LOVE it! We used to make something similar to these when we were little. I totally forgot about them until now. Can't wait to try it with Emily.