COOPERATIVE CIRCLE PAINTING – Line, Colour, Unity

Students work in a small group to explore painting techniques as they create a large circle painting composed of various lines, textures, shapes and colours.

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 8

Subject

Art Techniques
Language Arts
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

balance colour contrast line rhythm shape texture unity

Materials

Crayola Tempera Paint Mural Paper Circle - 45 cm (18") Diameter Water Containers Paper Towels Paint Brushes

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Steps

COOPERATIVE CIRCLE PAINTING – Line, Colour, Unity - Step One

Step One

Work as a team. There are 5 things you have to do for this part of the challenge:

  1. Make sure every person has an equal amount of space on the circle. 
  2. Use lots of different lines. 
  3. Make sure the lines connect, either to each other or to the outer edge of the paper. 
  4. Leave lots of white paper for the next part of the challenge. 
  5. When you are finished it has to look as if one person has painted it.
COOPERATIVE CIRCLE PAINTING – Line, Colour, Unity - Step Two

Step Two

While your painting is drying, look at a variety of artworks (posters or art cards) such as this painting by Paul Klee. Try to figure out how the artist achieved the effects. Ask yourself about colours and brushwork. Form a hypothesis.

(By Paul Klee - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19729247)

COOPERATIVE CIRCLE PAINTING – Line, Colour, Unity - Step Three

Step Three

Now it is time to test out the ideas you thought of when looking at the artworks. There are 4 things you have to do for this part of the challenge. 

  1. Make sure every person has an equal amount of space.
  2. Add lots of different mixed colours.
  3. Use lots of different painting techniques.
  4. When you are finished it has to look as if one person has painted it.
COOPERATIVE CIRCLE PAINTING – Line, Colour, Unity - Step Four

Step Four

When your painting is finished decide which way is up. Give your painting a title. Write the following information on a small title card:
- Title of Painting
- Names of Artists
- Medium - Tempera and Acrylic Paint on Paper

Attach the title card to the top of your painting with a paper clip. 

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Work together to create a painting that looks as if one person has painted it;
  2. Create a variety of lines;
  3. Create a variety of mixed colours and textures;
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment; and
  5. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

Extensions

  1. Have students imagine they have been dropped into the painting and are wandering through it. Ask them to write a descriptive paragraph of what they see.
  2. Have students create 'fancy names' for the colours and textures in the paintings. Invite them to write the names on small papers and to place them beside the colours.
  3. Have students write the steps for creating specific colours or textures on the painting. Place the written steps beside the painting and use a piece of string or yarn to connect the steps to the specific colour/texture.
  4. Have groups pretend their painting is a planet. Ask them to decide on the characteristics of inhabitants of their planet. Have them create the characters using construction paper and found objects. Place the characters around the outer rim of the paintings. Encourage students to write about the inhabitants and their planet in a graphic story.

Prepare

  1. Organize paint kits for each group. See guide on this website at
    Get Ready to Paint
  2. Cut out circles, one for each group. (Download – Cut_Circle.pdf)
  3. Print copies of the Clean-Up sheet - one for each group. (Download – Washable_Paint.pdf)
  4. Download Elements of Design posters available on this website.
    Posters
  5. Gather posters or art cards of a variety of paintings.
  6. Download art images from the Internet, for example,
    Degas
    Gericault
    Munch
    Chardin
    Klee
  7. Cover tables with newspaper. This keeps the tables clean and provides a space to try out paint colours and techniques.
  8. Place students into groups of about 6.

Introduction

  1. Prior to beginning the painting lesson ask students to number off.
  2. Give each table a clean-up sheet that indicates the job each number must do. 
  3. To ensure that everyone participates in the clean-up and that they know exactly what they have to do as soon as you call clean-up go through each job, for example, 'Hands up if you are number 3 and 4? Your job is to wash the brushes and return them to the bucket at the back of the room.’
  4. Ask one student from each table to get a paint kit. This student will be responsible for returning the kit in good condition at the end of the lesson. 
  5. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Work together to create a painting that looks as if one person has painted it.
  2. Create a variety of lines.
  3. Create a variety of mixed colours and textures.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Introduce the first part of the challenge. Remind students that they are working as a team so everyone has to agree on the decisions made.
    Make sure every person has an equal amount of space.
    - Divide the paper up using a variety of lines.
    Make sure all lines are connected either to the outer edge of the paper, or to another line.
    - Make sure you leave lots of white paper for the next part of the challenge.
    Work as a team so that when you are finished it looks as if one person has painted it.
  2. Part way through this activity ask students to stop and stand back from their work so they can look at the whole thing. Ask the following questions:
    - Are there lots of different kinds of lines?
    - Is there lots of empty white space left?
    - Does it look as if one person could have painted it?
    - What do you have to do next?

  3. Once all the lines are completed ask students to look at a variety of artworks (posters or art cards). Ask them to try to figure out how the artist achieved the effects. Guide them to form some hypotheses. Explain that it doesn't matter if they get the right answer, just that they get an idea that they can then try out for the next part of the challenge. Demonstrate what you mean, for example, 'I think the artist painted dabs of blue and white on the canvas and let the colours mix while they were still wet. Then when it was dry he painted over top of it with streaks of red. I think there wasn't much paint on his brush for the red.'

  4. Introduce the second part of the challenge. Remind students that they are still working as a team so everyone has to agree on the decisions made.
    Make sure every person has an equal amount of space.
    - Add lots of different mixed colours.
    Use lots of different painting techniques.
    - When you are finished it has to look as if one person has painted it.
  5. You may want to demonstrate some techniques, such as mixing colours directly on the paper, dabbing the paint in short, soft strokes, painting layers of colours.
  6. Part way through this activity ask students to stop and stand back from their work so they can look at it as a whole. Ask the following questions:
    Are there lots of different kinds of mixed colours?
    - Are there lots of different painting techniques?
    - Does it look as if one person could have painted it?
    - What do you have to do next?
  7. Observe students as they work.
  8. Encourage them to share and expand on each others' ideas as they explore the paint.  
  9. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.
  10. When the paintings are complete provide each group with a small card. Ask students to decide which way is up for their painting.
  11. Ask them to decide on a title for their painting.
  12. Have them write the following information on their card:
    -  Artists' Names
    - Title of Painting
    - Medium - Tempera and Acrylic Paint on Paper
  13. Ask students to attach the information card to the top of the painting using a paper clip.
  14. Clean up.
     

Sharing

  1. Display the completed paintings as if they are in a gallery. Place the information cards beside each painting. Ask students to work alone or with others.
    Examine the paintings carefully and be prepared to tell three things that you found interesting. 
  2. Model what you mean - I find this area interesting because it feels as if I can float inside the painting. I think this effect is achieved by the contrast between the dark lines and the blurry, orange paint. Some of the orange paint is bright, some pale and some is in-between. It reminds me of looking out of my window when the sun is going down. 
  3. Invite students to walk around the room examining and quietly discussing the works. Once they have had about 10 minutes, call the group back to a central spot. Ask who wants to share. Go to stand around the painting the student is referring to. Ask if anyone else has something to share about this painting. Move from painting to painting in this way until many students have had a chance to talk about what they have discovered in the paintings. This is a good opportunity to point out how unique all the works are. Even though you all had the same challenge, you all solved it differently. That is what makes art so wonderful and exciting.
  4. During the discussion include references to:
    - Informal patterns that may appear that create rhythm.
    - Contrast - discuss how it is used to balance the design.
    - Movement - discuss how colour and lines get the eye to travel through the whole space.
    - Feelings the work evokes and why/how.
    - Unity - that feeling that one person has painted it, and how it is achieved.
  5. Observe that this work is called a painting. Paintings can be large or small.
  6. Talk about how the group had to figure out some way to organize the lines, then figure out where to put the colours so the painting would be interesting and provide surprises to the viewer. Creating art means you have to figure out how to use elements like lines, colours and textures and decide how to put them in some kind of order or composition. Sometimes it looks as if there is no real order, everything is just all over the place, and then when you look closely – giving looking time – you see that the artist has ...
  7. Ask students to select an art card that connects with one of the circle paintings, tape or pin it beside the painting.
  8. Ask students to take turns sharing their thinking. 

 

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work  – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Download – CIRCLE_PAINTING_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Download – CIRCLE_PAINTING_self-assessment.pdf)