Understanding Point of View
Recognizing Aesthetic Views
Making Leaf Drawings
Making Gadget Prints
Experimenting with Media
Creating a Freestanding Sculpture
Experimenting with Hues
Experimenting with Line
Experimenting with Texture
Creating Movement and Rhythm
Describing Non-Objective Art
Learning from a Master
Experimenting with Printmaking
Experimenting with Painting Media
Creating a Collage of Letters
Appreciating Local Architecture
Point of View
Using an unexpected point of view can add interest to art.
Using a pencil, make a drawing of an object you know well.
One possibility might be one of the shoes you are wearing
right now. Draw the object as well as you can. Now draw the
same object from the point of view of a bug looking up at
it. What details might the bug see? Compare your two drawings.
Which one do you consider more interesting?
Choose which drawing you consider more interesting and write
a brief explanation telling why you chose it. Be sure you
include the phrase "point of view" in your description.
Keep the writing in your portfolio with the two sketches.
Find in a magazine a black-and-white photograph of an object
seen from the front. Clip out the photo. Cut the object in
half and glue half to a sheet of white paper. Use a pencil
to complete the missing half of the object. Before you begin,
take one of the following views:
- My drawing will be as lifelike as I can make it.
- My drawing will focus on line and shape.
- My drawing will communicate a message, idea, or feeling.
Discuss your drawing with other students
in the class. How many were able to identify the aesthetic
approach you took? Were you able to identify the aesthetic
approach they followed?
Which aesthetic view appeals to you? Write a paragraph that
identifies that aesthetic view and explains why you like it
best. Date your writing and keep it in your portfolio. Read
it several times before the end of this course and see if
your opinion changes. If it does, write that on the same sheet
Making Leaf Drawings
Find and bring in interesting leaves. Select two that interest
you and view them from various distances, then draw several
versions of each one. You might view the leaves under magnifying
glasses if possible. Also take close, unmagnified views, arm's
length views, and views from a distance of several feet.
When finished with your drawings, show your work to another
student and describe how the changes in distance affected
what you saw and how you drew. Display the finished drawings
for study by the class. Does everyone’s work look the
same? Why or why not?
Write a short paragraph describing how distance changed your
perception of the leaves and affected the way you drew them.
Date your paragraph and keep it in your portfolio with the
Gather small items with different shapes that might be dipped
into paint to make a gadget print. Some possibilities are
paper clips, erasers, clothespins, spools, cork, and buttons.
Be as imaginative as you can. Brush tempera paint on each
gadget, and press the gadget firmly on a sheet of white paper.
Exchange gadgets with your classmates.
Once the paint has dried, select one of the gadgets, and place
it underneath the paper near a printed image of the same gadget.
Make a crayon rubbing of the gadget. (See Technique Tip 25,
Handbook 280.) Discuss your work with your classmates. Do
the rubbings look like the prints? Why or why not?
Make a simple chart to compare and contrast the prints to
the rubbings. List “Ways They are the Same” and
“Ways They are Different.” Refer to the technique
you used as well as the media. Include a brief statement telling
which you prefer and why.
Gather an assortment of school acrylics and thick tempera
paints, tools for applying paint, and white paper. Besides
different types of brushes, painting tools might include painting
knives, twigs with the ends bunched together into a brushlike
effect. Try one combination and then another, noting the effects
of each. What kind of brush stroke do you get, for example,
with a dry brush that has been dipped in thick paint? What
happens when you use a wet brush dipped in the same paint?
Does thinning the paint with water change its look on paper?
Make a chart that labels each paint sample with the media
and technique you used to achieve the visual effect. Keep
the chart in your portfolio and add more media samples to
it in the future!
Creating a Freestanding
Using pieces of scrap plastic foam from beverage containers,
trays, and packing materials, work in teams to create a freestanding
sculpture. You may use both the additive and subtractive techniques
to create this work. Use slots and tabs to hold the smaller
pieces of your construction together. Straight pins, strings,
and other joining devices can help you hold the larger pieces
together. The size of these constructions depends upon the
limits of your art room and the supplies you can collect.
You can carve large packing materials with scissors and utility
knives. For small sculpture pieces, cut the cups and trays
with scissors into a variety of shapes.
Take photographs of the sculpture for your portfolio. Include
front, back, and side views. Then write a credit line that
includes your name, title of art work, date, media, size,
your school, city, and state.
On a sheet of white paper, make pencil drawings of three or
four objects in your classroom. Choose a hue from the color
wheel. Paint one of the objects that hue, paint a second a
tint of that hue, and a third a shade of that hue. (See Value
on page 58 for information about tints and shades.)
Make a scale showing the values of the hue. Keep it in your
Draw a continuous curving line lightly with pencil on a sheet
of white paper, 6 x 9 inches (15 x 23 cm). Begin the line
on one edge of the paper and draw it wandering around the
entire space of the page. Consider the line as the path of
a flying insect. Let the line finish its path at a different
edge of the paper. Use the black marker to trace your line.
Create variations of thick and thin lines along your linear
path to add visual variety to your composition.
List words you could use to describe one line, such as wavy,
zigzag, straight, light, jagged, long, thick, continuous,
curved, dark, or twisted. Next to each word show an example.
Keep this information in your portfolio and add to this list
as you learn more about line.
Imagine that the room you are sitting in is a painting. Look
around the room. Be on the alert for the use of techniques
that lead to a feeling of deep space. For example, which objects,
if any, overlap? Which objects appear to be smaller than others?
Now make a sketch of the room, replacing some real objects
with ones from your imagination. Make sure that your new objects
follow the same rules of space as the old ones. When you have
finished, discuss your drawing with other members of the class.
Can they identify all the space-creating techniques in your
List the space-creating techniques you used in your sketch.
Evaluate your sketch with these questions. Did I use all of
the techniques correctly? What did I do best? How could I
improve? Keep your evaluation with your sketch in your portfolio.
You may want to sketch the room again at a later date.
Gather an assortment of fabrics and papers with smooth and
rough textures. Look through a magazine for color pictures
of smooth and rough visual textures and cut them out. Arrange
theses actual and visual textures on a small piece of cardboard.
Cover all the background with textures. Your design should
show contrasts of actual and visual, as well as smooth and
rough textures. Glue down your design with white glue.
Use a pencil on a white piece of drawing paper to sketch the
texture samples. Note how you use the elements of art to make
your drawing look textured. Attach your drawings to your display
of textures and include both in your portfolio.
You can use the element of color to make a viewer’s
eye move around a visual image. First, find a scene filled
with people and objects in a book or magazine. Make a black-and-white
photocopy of the image. Use your imagination to create a wandering
path through the scene that you want your viewers to follow.
Trace the path lightly with a pencil. Using one brightly colored
marker, color one shape on each person or object along the
path. The size of the shapes may vary. Share your art work
with other students.
Ask other students to evaluate your work. Record their comments
on a sheet of paper and include it with your drawing in your
On a sheet of white paper draw five shapes with three different
colored crayons. Make three geometric shapes and two free-form
shapes. They can be anywhere on the paper and any size. Do
not overlap the shapes. Fill two shapes with one color. Make
designs in the three remaining shapes using all three colors
in each shape. Fill all the shapes with color. On a separate
sheet of paper write an exact description of your drawing.
Be very specific. Tell the size of each shape and where it
is located on the paper. Tell whether it is close to an edge
of the paper or if it is close to another shape. Describe
the colors and texture of each shape. Use your language to
give the reader the best “picture” of the free-form
shapes. Exchange descriptions with a classmate who hasn’t
seen your picture. Using the descriptions, draw each other’s
Use your classmate's drawing to write a self-reflection of
your written description. Ask: How well did I describe my
original design? What could I have explained in more detail?
Keep your drawing, the classmate's version of your drawing,
the written description, and the self-reflection together
in your portfolio.
Choose a favorite work of art by one of the artists listed
below. Use other art books for reference if you need to.
On drawing paper, 9 x 12 inches (23 x 30 cm), sketch as accurate
a copy of the art you have chosen as possible. Then, using
oil pastels, fill in the colors, following the original work
of art for style and shading. See how close you can come to
creating a piece that looks like the art work you used as
• Michelangelo da Caravaggio (1573-1610)
• Antoine Watteau (1684-1721)
• Francisco Goya (1746-1828)
• Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
Share your finished work with your classmates. Did they think
that you achieved the effect you wanted? Briefly write notes
about any changes you would like to make in the art work.
Store the notes and the art work in your portfolio.
One of the hardest tasks facing a printmaker is thinking backwards.
The printing plate, you will recall, must be a mirror image
of the final print.
Each student in the class is to select a different letter
of the alphabet. Once you have chosen a letter, place a thin
sheet of paper over a thick pad of newspaper. Pressing down
hard, draw your letter on the thin sheet of paper. Turn the
paper over, and you will see your letter in reverse. Using
the image as a model, carve a stamp from a cube of modeling
clay. Apply paint to your stamp with a brush. On a sheet of
paper, make a pattern by pressing your stamp several times.
Does each image in your pattern look the same, or do they
differ? Does this make your pattern more or less interesting?
Explain your answers.
On a separate sheet of paper, evaluate your stamp. Answer
these questions: Does the stamp make the image I intended?
What did I do well? What could I do better? How well did I
carve the clay? Did I make a good mirror image? Keep the stamped
patterns and your self-assessment together in your portfolio.
Refer to it the next time you make a print.
with Painting Media
Gather as many different kinds of paint of one hue as you
can. For example, look for red watercolor, red poster paint,
and red acrylic. Draw several shapes on a sheet of white paper.
Draw one shape for each paint. Paint each shape with a different
kind of paint. Display your results alongside those of your
classmates. Discuss differences and similarities among the
different paints. Compare the texture, intensity, value, and
reflective quality of each paint.
Design a painting of one hue with the three different kinds
of paint that you have sampled. Focus on subject and composition
in your painting. When it is complete, write a brief evaluation
of your artwork using the steps of art criticism. Keep your
painting and your written self-assessment in your portfolio.
Creating a Collage
Choose one of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Search through
newspapers, magazines, and books. See how many different typefaces
and sizes for this letter you can find. Cut examples of the
letter from newspapers and magazine headlines. On a sheet
of paper, make a collage based on the examples of your letter.
To add interest to your collage, turn some of your letters
upside down and some sideways. Try overlapping some of your
letters. When you have an interesting arrangement, glue the
letters to the background with white glue. If possible, photocopy
your finished collage. Then add color using watercolors, crayons,
or pastels. (For more information on making a collage, see
Technique Tip 28, Handbook page 281.)
Exchange your collage with a classmate for peer evaluation.
Write an evaluation of the classmate’s work using the
steps of art criticism. Include the classmate's evaluation
with your collage in your portfolio.
The buildings around us can become so familiar we don’t
even notice them. This activity will help you appreciate local
architecture as an art form.
Choose a building in your community you believe is interesting.
Sketch the building as accurately as you can. In class, draw
your building in the center of a sheet of 12 x 18 inch (30
x 46 cm) paper. In the space around your building, draw a
new, imaginary setting. This setting should be an ideal one
that allows your building to look its best. Without telling
the name of your building, see if your classmates recognize
it. Can you identify theirs?
Write a brief summary of your sketch, explaining why the building
and landscape are unified. Keep the summary together with
the sketch in your portfolio.