Robert Murray For Younger Children

Silhouette of sculpture



Robert Murray

Canadian, born 1936

Subject: Color and shade

Activity: Experiment with shade and shadows

Materials: Construction paper, scissors, and tape

Vocabulary: Color, sculpture, mood, reflective, shape


Color is an important part of art and our world. Colors have many different meanings and uses for us. This sculpture is made of a single sheet of aluminum metal that has been bent and painted a bright and shiny red. Though the sculpture is all one color, it appears to have many shades of red on it. This is because of the way light hits it. Light cannot entirely reach the inside of the sculpture, so it appears darker. In some places the sculpture is reflective, and when light hits it, it looks very bright and lighter red, or even white.


Can you name some colors and the feelings or ideas we associate with them?

What is your favorite color? Why and what does it mean to you?

Why do you think the artist chose to make this sculpture bright red? How would it be different if it were another color?

What if this sculpture were not so shiny and reflective? How would it be different?


If you can, work with your child outside, where the sun is bright and shining on you. If you cannot, work inside under a lamp that can provide you with a direct source of light. Help your child cut different shapes out of colored construction paper. Fold them in any way your child chooses. Point out how when the shapes are in the light, some parts appear dark and some lighter. Now help your child place the shapes on a sheet of white paper and point out the shadows underneath them. Using tape, secure the shapes to the page so that the shadows of the shapes and the white page make an interesting composition.


Color —Lightness or darkness of a surface, also known as hue

Sculpture —A work of art that has height, width, and depth

Mood —Mental or emotional state or disposition

Reflective —When a material bounces back light, like a mirror does

Shade — A darkened area, in which sunlight is blocked