I try to vary my lesson plans for students. 4th grade recently finished their totem pole project. It's pretty intense and has a high degree of difficulty. This painting lesson provides a nice change of pace for my students. It's much more open and doesn't have guidelines that are quite as rigid.
This is the second year I have taught this project. It's very straightforward. We talk about what nonobjective art is and we look at several examples. I then challenge students to create their own compositions using whatever types of shapes and lines they want. They try to create interest by using overlapping shapes as well as designing areas that are more complex.
Since we are learning about tints, obviously students get to mix paints to create their tints. This is the absolute highlight of the lesson for most students. Nothing is more exciting than busting out the mixing trays. I ask students to select two main colors (in addition to white) to use the for their paintings. Limiting the color really enhances the overall design of the paintings.
I get some really killer detail work out of my students on this project. I bought a set of #2 bright brushes. They are flats that have shorter bristles. They are wonderful for detail. They allow students to accurately paint the small overlapping shapes in their work. The work is finished by students choosing either black paint or crayon to go over all of their original drawing. Again, this is to bring out the original design. You know how it can get a little lost during the painting process. I used to have students do this with Sharpies, but Sharpie doesn't particularly like tempera paint.
Enjoy these amazing examples from this project!
Click here to download my lesson plan!