COVID-19 COAT ENSEMBLE – Design Elements, Style

Students use watercolour pencils to design and illustrate a coat ensemble to wear during the Covid-19 pandemic that will encourage physical distancing and have a distinctive style.

Required Time

100 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 7 to Grade 9


Language Arts
Visual Arts


balance colour ensemble line proportion silhouette


Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Crayola Watercolour Pencils Crayola Sketchbooks - 1 per student Crayola Paint Brushes Pencils Erasers Water Containers Paper Towels

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COVID-19 COAT ENSEMBLE – Design Elements, Style - Step One

Step One

  1. Brainstorm ideas in your sketchbook.
  2. Think about what you want to include, e.g.,
    - fabric
    - colours
    - belts
    - buttons/fasteners
    - etc.
  3. Make notes as well as drawings.
COVID-19 COAT ENSEMBLE – Design Elements, Style - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Choose the ideas you like the best.
  2. Make a good drawing in pencil.
  3. Be sure to add all the details that make your design unique.
  4. Make the drawing fill the page.
COVID-19 COAT ENSEMBLE – Design Elements, Style - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use watercolour pencils to colour the drawing.
    ​- Colour directly on the paper with the watercolour pencil and then wet your paintbrush and paint water into the colour.
    - Wet your paintbrush and pick up colour from the tip of the pencil and then paint onto the paper.
COVID-19 COAT ENSEMBLE – Design Elements, Style - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Write a brief description to be used as part of an advertising campaign.
  2. Explain your idea for the design.
  3. Highlight key features of your design, e.g., 
    - comfort
    - fabric
    - style
    - safety
    - colour

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • design a coat ensemble to be worn in public during the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • create a design that encourages physical distancing and has a distinctive style;
  • write a description that highlights key features of the design;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the designs.


Have students:

  • use the lesson plan Powerful Posters available on this website to create a poster to advertise their coat ensemble;
  • work in small groups to video an infomercial about their designs;
  • share their videos and posters with other classes.


  1. Google Fashion Illustrators and choose some images of illustrations to download from the Internet.
  2. Download and display the Colour, Proportion and Balance posters available on this website.
  3. Gather and make available books about fashion, for example, My Fabulous Look Book: Fashion Drawing Made Easy, by Karen Phillips; Sketch Your Style: A Guided Sketchbook for Drawing Your Dream Wardrobe, by Robyn Neild; Fashion Design Studio: Learn to Draw Figures, Fashion, Hairstyles & More, by Christopher Hart; and Fashion Drawing: Inspirational Step-by-Step Illustrations Show You How to Draw Like a Fashion Illustrator, by Carolyn Scrace.
  4. Teach proportions of the human body and provide time for students to practice drawing figures. (Downloads - Mannequin_Pattern.pdf)
  5. Provide time for students to Explore Watercolour Pencils using the lesson plan available on this website.
  6. Introduce some elements of fashion design.
    Colour - first thing noticed - bright colours make a dress look bigger than dark colours
    Silhouette - the basic shape or outline of the outfit
    Balance - symmetrical or asymmetrical - both sides of the outfit are the same or different
    Lines - separates the shape of the outfit - waistline, hemline, neckline - curved lines can make the shape seem round, straight lines can make it look slim
    Fabric Texture - how the fabric feels,e.g, stiff, soft, how it drapes
    Emphasis - an element of the design that attracts attention
    Proportion - the relationship of the different parts of the design to each other
  7. Download and copy the Designer's Statement form - enough for 1 per student. (Downloads - DesignerStatement.pdf)


  1. View and discuss a variety of fashion illustrations focusing on how the images communicate ideas and identifying common characteristics, e.g.,
    - drawing shows the human figure wearing a clothing design
    - shows details of the style
    - includes embellishments
    - demonstrates an attitude 
  2. Make a list of notable characteristics of one of the designs, e.g.,
    - deliberate use of colour for specific effect
    - use of pattern and detail
    - special decorative effects such as trims
    - placement of lines created by hems and/or belts
    - areas of emphasis that attract attention
    - fabric texture
    - silhouette of the outfit
    - message it conveys
  3. Discuss how clothing communicates a message – focus on how students choose their clothes to suit their personal identity and also to suit different purposes - going to school, going to a party, relaxing at home, etc.
  4. Explain the purpose of fashion illustration,
    - used to show how a garment would eventually look
    - make a designer's ideas visible
    - highlight important details
  5. Discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on social interactions.
    - social distancing - some people get too close when you're out in public
    - wearing masks - hot, uncomfortable and bad for skin - maybe a bit 'cool'
    - no large gatherings - miss hanging out with friends
    - people not obeying the guidelines - not sure how to get people to stand back - anxiety
  6. Introduce the challenge. 


The Challenge

  1. Design a coat ensemble to be worn in public during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  2. Create a design that encourages physical distancing and has a distinctive style.
  3. Write a description that highlights key features of the design.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the designs.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created a design that encourages social distancing
    - created a design that has a distinctive style

    - used colour for a specific effect
    - included special decorative effects
    - used lines to separate parts of the garment shape
    - used emphasis to attract attention to parts of the design
    - used fabric appropriate for the design
    - created a balanced shape
    - created a silhouette that fits the purpose of the garment
    - created a design that communicates a message about social distancing

    - written a description that highlights key features of the coat
    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Observe students as they work.
  4. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Display the completed illustrations for a group discussion. Remind students of the challenge.
  2. Ask students to:
    Look closely at the designs.
    Choose one that interests them for some reason.
    Share thoughts about the work.
  3. During the discussion include references to:
    colour – how colour affects the overall design
    balance – how the type of balance communicates a specific message
    silhouette – how the silhouette of the design communicates a specific message
  4. Discuss how each design is unique even though they were based on the same challenge.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their designs – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the design, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the design.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Coat_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students reflect on their own designs in their sketchbooks. 
    Ask students:
    - What was the most difficult part of this challenge? 
    - How did you solve problems that arose as you were working on your design?

    - What worked well in your design? What do you see that makes you say that?                                            
    - What would you change or do differently next time?