The Yellow Book



Image         I found a little treasure of a book last year in a Japanese market while purchasing calligraphy supplies. It is a flip-book. Each full page incorporates such basic elements of design as line, space, texture, color and form. The idea is to flip the various pages to create a new, original design. I had to go online to discover that the name of the book is, The Game of Mix-Up Art by Herve Tullet. I call it “the design book.”  I love that I was able to buy a copy with the Japanese cover.  I have cherished this purchase, and knew it had some potential for inspiration but I was not really able to incorporate it into the curriculum. It never seemed to grab any one’s attention. Children seemed to be pretty ho-hum about it.

Image    This week I made another attempt to use the book when I noticed one child’s bold statement of color and shape at the easel in our outdoor atelier.  

This artist from the 3 Day morning class had painted a large red circle and filled it in with a soft red colored paint. After filling her brush with a slightly darker tint of red, she repeated her actions by painting a slightly larger circle and filling that circle in with matching paint.Image  The two actions were so deliberate, and the results were so bold and appealing. This young child clearly demonstrated her strong understanding of design. She appeared to be finished but I felt compelled to ask her about her painting and if she found anything familiar in (what I referred to as) the design book. She flipped through the book and focused on the page featuring circles of color.  I asked her if she was done or would she like to continue? As an answer, she added several more circles in various colors.

Read about another fine artist who was inspired by the “design book” in the next posting!


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