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Elementary [1st-5th] Lesson Plan

Monochromatic Non-Objective Painting

Created on September 30, 2013 by epennington523

This is a lesson I did with my 4th grade students. Major concepts include: abstract art v. non-objective art, value, monochromatic color schemes, tints, shades, and tones. They learned a lot with this lesson and all had success!

26 Keeps, 6 Likes, 3 Comments

4 sessions; 40 minutes per session

1. SWBAT differentiate between abstract art and non-objective art.
2. SWBAT create a non-objective work of art comprised of line, shape, and color.
3. SWBAT differentiate between light, medium, and dark values.
4. SWBAT identify light values as tints and dark values as shades.
5. SWBAT recognize artworks with monochromatic color schemes.
6. SWBAT apply a monochromatic colors scheme to a work of art and create at least 6 different values of one color.

1. 12x18 white paper
2. black oil pastels
3. tempera paint (various colors, black, white)
4. paper plates
5. brushes
6. water cups
7. laptop/projector/PowerPoints

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

1. Introduce non-objective art via PowerPoint. Emphasize the difference between abstract art and non-objective art. Show students images and have them identify as realistic, abstract, or non-objective.
2. Students will draw their own non-objective composition using line and shape with black oil pastel on 12x18 white paper.

1. Review non-objective art.
2. Introduce value, monochromatic color scheme, tints, and shades via PowerPoint.
3. Students will paint select desired color for their monochromatic color scheme. Students will paint 3 shapes in the composition with the selected color. As we paint, encourage students to move around the composition and avoid painting touching shapes the same color.
4. Demonstrate how to mix tints from one color + white.
5. Students will mix at least 3 different tints and paint half of the remaining shapes with the tints.
6. Move paintings to drying rack and clean up paint.

1. Review value, monochromatic color scheme, tints, and shades.
2. Demonstrate how to mix shades from one color + black.

3. Students will mix at least 3 different shades and paint all remaining shapes of their compositions with the shades (or about 6 shapes and complete remaining with tones in step 4).
4. Optional: Allow students to mix some tones to fill in some remaining shapes and break up the tints and shades. Demonstrate how to mix tones from one color + gray. Students will mix enough different tones to paint the remaining shapes of their compositions.
5. Move paintings to drying rack and clean up paint.

1. Review abstract/non-objective art, value, monochromatic color scheme, tints, and shades.
2. Students will use black oil pastel to re-trace over all original lines in their non-objective compositions.
3. Students will add simple line designs onto about half of the shapes in their compositions. Students should consider maintaining a sense of balance in the composition when deciding where to add the line designs. Care should be taken not to smear the oil pastel.
4. Explain the importance of reflecting on one's artwork and the art making process. Students will then reflect on their monochromatic paintings and write an artist statement. Questions will be provided for prompting.

Projects assessed with following checklist
• Used line and shape to create a non-objective composition
• Monochromatic color scheme-used one color only mixed with white and black
• At least 6 values ranging from light to dark were mixed and used to paint in all shapes
• Craftsmanship: painted inside the lines
• Craftsmanship: Each shape painted thoroughly with no white spots
• Craftsmanship: All shapes outlined neatly with black oil pastel

Sorry but I am unable to attach the PowerPoints I use to introduce Non-objective art and Monochromatic color scheme. I tried compressing and zipping the files and they are still too large to upload.


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[K-4] Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[K-4] Students know the differences among visual characteristics and purposes of art in order to convey ideas

Abstract Art

Shape, Line, Color/Value, Balance, Unity/Harmony

Painting, Tempera

  • Karimarie 08/26/2014 at 01:55pm
    Love this lesson! I will be using this in my classroom this year!

  • jsprick 08/12/2017 at 03:35pm
    Hope I'm not being too greedy here, but do you have a PP presentation available that you are willing to share? I do a similar project with middle school involving musical instruments and a brief Picasso/Cubism discussion. This could be a great precursor before jumping into acrylics.