Name of Project: Essential Abstraction
School, Teacher and Classroom: Craig High School, Mrs. Barry, Painting
Grade Level: High school grades 10-12
MCAD Teaching Artist:  Hannah Northup

Visual Arts Content / Standards
Analyze how the elements of visual art including color, line, shape, value, form, texture and space; and principles such as repetition, pattern, emphasis, contrast and balance are combined to communicate meaning in the creation of, presentation of, or response to visual artworks. Create abstract paintings using observation and exaggeration of a piece they find in magazines.  The objective is to have a basic understanding and provide an introduction into the world of abstract paintings and create a positive interpretation of the perception of abstract paintings. As a result, the students will also be exploring shape, composition, and color.

Overview of Project
The class is an hour and a half class periods over two days and two 50 min sessions over the last two days. The students will create abstract paintings inspired by an image in a magazine using a 2x2 inch template to find their composition. These will be individual paintings and the students will be using molding paste to help create a textured abstract piece. The focus is on the abstraction of an object, place, or figure by enlarging a small section of the image from the magazine. The Powerpoint is available to students to refer to as necessary. As their paste dries, they will be able to paint over it and add color to finish their piece. It will also connect with their studies on color theory and the students will have the option to add different colors or focus on complementary, analogous or other color combinations. This will not only help expand knowledge in painting and color theory, but also help expand options in their artistic practice for experimentation.

“Big Ideas”/ Essential Question(s): What is abstraction? What can abstraction express?

Student Outcome Objectives
1. Students will demonstrate understanding of abstraction by abstracting an image.
2. Students will apply painting techniques and color theory concepts they have learned in their classes thus far.
3. Students will be able to analyze and evaluate their creative decisions and those of the other groups in a quick group critique.
4. Students will gain a deeper understanding of their own artistic practice and process through materials and technique experimentation and technique application

Prior Knowledge
A basic understanding of painting technique and color theory - the hue circle, analogous, complementary, tertiary, monochrome, as well as tints and shades.

Lesson Preparation Timeline
Observations and discussion with teacher at the school, create exemplar, PowerPoint, and gather materials

Examples of Artwork
Mark Rothko, Dark Brown and Grey
Mark Rothko, Number 5
Georgia O’Keefe, From the Lake, Purple Petunias
Willem De Kooning, De Kooning In The Sky
George Morrison, Collage IX: Landscape

Additional Resources
PowerPoint of artwotk exploring abstraction.

Their assessment will show through their work as well as by completing a critique in small groups of the projects. I will use a checklist to grade. The checklist will be based off of the objectives of the project.

• Students abstract an image of their choice by enlarging a portion of it on a picture plane.
• Student has applied color using specific color systems.
• Student use traditional and nontraditional painting techniques to further abstract artwork.
• Student use additional materials to help abstract the piece.  

2" x 2" viewing templates
Watercolor paper - 12" x 12", gessoed
Acrylic paints- blue, red, magenta, orange, brown, white, black. Yellow, green
Molding paste
Popsicle sticks
Masking tape
Water cups, paper towel, rags
Various sizes of flat and round brushes

Learning Activities and Timing
1. Overview and requirements of project and PDF presentation. (10min)
2. Look through magazines for compositions with viewing template. (15 min)
3. Choose a composition and sketch composition onto paper. (15 min)
4. Painting. (54 min).
5. Cleanup. (7min)
6. Critique will be done the following class period.

Teacher Reflection
Concerns about timing and whether students will finish their project or lose interest.
Will the students understand concept and execute properly.
The project fits in with the Advanced Painting curriculum.
Through critiques the students will be able to engage in discussion and understanding of their works.