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High [9th-12th] Lesson Plan

Abstract & Nonobjective Art

Created on September 03, 2019 by KatieMorris

2 exercises for teaching abstract and nonobjective art that could turn into finished projects.

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2 sessions; 45 minutes per session

1. SWBAT create an interesting composition in a photograph of a still life set up.
2. SWBAT understand the characteristics of abstract and nonobjective art.
3. SWBAT create an abstract drawing through simplification based on their still life photographs.
4. SWBAT create a nonobjective drawing based on a small section of a magazine picture taken out of context.

1. Still life objects
2. Cameras (iPads or phones work)
3. White drawing paper
4. Pencils and erasers
5. Markers or colored pencils
6. Magazines- cut triangles out of pictures that become nonobjective when taken out of context
7. Glue sticks
8. Oil pastels

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

1. Before class
-cut triangles out of magazine pictures and glue in middle of a page of drawing paper
-the sections you cut should be framed so that they are unrecognizable out of context
2. Introduction: art terms
-explain that abstract artwork starts with a subject and changed it in some way to make it less recognizable, but that you can still figure out what it might be about if you take your time to look and think
-shoe am example of analytical cubism by Picasso or Braque and lead discussion making sure they notice the objects
-explain that nonobjective art is based on the elements of art and principles of design and is not a picture OF something
-might just be lines, shapes, and colors
3. Introduction: nonobjective exercise
-explain that one way to abstract something is to take a part of something out of context.
-students will select a page with a small piece of a magazine picture glued in the middle (out of context) and will use the lines, shapes, and colors as a starting point for a nonobjective design.
-students try to match colors with oil pastels for a starting point and then go on to fill the space of their paper with a nonobjective design influenced by the magazine section
4. Photos
-sometime during the nonobjective class period or at least before the next, have students take photos of part of a complex still life that they think make a nice composition.
-you can do this with a rotation so you don’t have the whole class trying to crowd around a still life at once.
-you can print small versions of the photos or let students look on a device
5. Abstraction through simplification
-remind students that abstract artworks start with something real and change things to make them less recognizable, such as Braque and Picasso when they started Cubism
-shoe “shortcut” clip from the movie Inside Out yo give students a visual culture example of abstraction through simplification
-explain that the students’ next challenge is to take the complex shapes in their photographs and simplify the shapes as a way to create an abstract drawing.
-it may be helpful to do this in 2 stages by drawing one simpler version and then a drawing of the drawing that is even more simple
-tell students to think about lines and geometric shapes
5. Students work
-students draw their abstract compositions with pencil
-add color with markers, colored pencils, or oil pastels

The Inside Out clip is optional but it really helped my students see how you can break an object down into simpler shapes


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

[9-12 Advanced] Students initiate, define, and solve challenging visual arts problems independently using intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation

Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso

Abstract Art, Cubism

Color/Value, Line, Shape