PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast

Students work from a photograph to paint a portrait of a pet.

Required Time

160 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 4 to Grade 9

Subject

Mathematics
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

colour contrast crop grid space texture viewfinder

Materials

Washable Paint Crayola Marker and Watercolour Paper Masking Tape Photograph of Pet Pencils Rulers Plastic Placemat

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Steps

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step One

Step One

Tape your paper to a plastic mat. This will keep the paper smooth and flat while you work. When the tape is removed it will create a white border around the painting.  

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step Two

Step Two

Use 2 'L' shaped pieces of card as a viewfinder. Place them on the photograph to crop the picture. Move the viewfinder around until you are happy with the composition of the picture. Make sure your cropped photograph is roughly the same shape and proportions as your painting paper. This is the picture you will be painting.

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step Three

Step Three

When you are happy with the placement of the viewfinder tape it in place. 

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step Four

Step Four

Draw a vertical line across the middle of your photograph.

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step Five

Step Five

Draw a horizontal line across the middle of your photograph. You should have divided your photograph into 4 fairly equal boxes.

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step Six

Step Six

Repeat this process to divide your painting paper into 4 equal boxes as well.

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step Seven

Step Seven

Use the grid to help you draw the animal. Start in one of the boxes. Look at where the outer edge of the animal begins and ends. Outline the same edge in the matching box on your painting paper. We are using a big grid to help you see the space. Don't worry if it is not perfect. For this painting you just need to block in the main objects to get you started.

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step Eight

Step Eight

Begin laying down areas of colour. 

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step Nine

Step Nine

Use brushstrokes and contrasting colours to create different textures. The photograph is just a way to get started. Don't be afraid to add effects that are not in the photograph. Let your imagination guide you.

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step Ten

Step Ten

Build up colour and texture. Work with areas of contrast to make the animal stand out in the space. From time to time stop and look at the painting from a distance to see it with fresh eyes. 

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step Eleven

Step Eleven

When you are satisfied with your work and the paint is dry gently remove the tape.

PORTRAIT OF A PET – Colour, Texture, Space and Contrast - Step Twelve

Step Twelve

Look at the painting closely. Add any final last touches. It is ready to be matted and displayed!

 

 

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  1. Draw an animal using a grid and photograph; 
  2. Create a painting of a pet using painting techniques such as blending and expressive brushstrokes;
  3. Use contrast to create the illusion of depth;
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; and
  5. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

Extensions

  1. Chuck Close is an inspirational artist who has dyslexia and is partially paralyzed. He makes very large paintings using a grid system. 
    Chuck Close
  2. View the video of the artist Chuck Close discussing his use of grids and encourage students to experiment with some of his ideas.  
    Chuck Close Video

Prepare

  1. Prior to beginning a painting unit with your students you may want to view the Get Ready to Paint with Washable Paint! in Kick Start)
  2. This lesson allows students to apply and practice what they learn in a techniques lesson. Prior to this lesson have students experiment with blending paints and expressive brushstrokes. (See Experimenting With Washable Paint in Techniques.)
  3. Gather images of artist's paintings featuring expressive paintings of animals. For example,
    Cavalier
    Bob
    Cattle
    Jack Russell

Introduction

  1. ​Display the pictures.
  2. Look at the composition of the pictures. 
  3. Zoom in on parts of the paintings to examine the way paint has been applied in a loose, expressive manner. 
  4. Consider such things as:
    the placement of the animal
    the use of texture, colour and contrast
    the use of  blending to suggest surfaces and dimension
    the types of brushstrokes and application of paint 
  5. Ask students how they feel about this approach. How does it influence the way they feel about the animal?
  6. Ask students to think about how they will use paint in this challenge.
  7. Introduce the challenge

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Draw an animal using a grid and photograph. 
  2. Create a painting of a pet using painting techniques such as blending and expressive brushstrokes. 
  3. Use contrast to create the illusion of depth.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Guide students to crop their photograph. Remind them of the compositions they viewed in the paintings. Encourage them to decide what the most important part of their painting will be. That is what they should focus on. Where will it be placed for maximum effect?
  2. Ask students to prepapre their paper by taping it to the plastic placemat. Remind them that the tape will create a border.
  3. Continue to guide students in the preparation of the painting.
  4. Once they are ready to begin painting and before paints are handed out ask them to number off. Hand each table a clean-up sheet that indicates the job each number must do. 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.’ This process ensures that everyone participates in the clean-up and that they know exactly what they have to do as soon as you call clean-up. (Downloads - CLEAN_UP.pdf) 
  5. Cover tables with newspaper. This keeps the tables clean and provides a space to try out paint colours and techniques.
  6. 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.
  7. Observe students as they work. From time to time ask them to stop and view their work from a bit of a distance so they can see it with 'fresh eyes'.
  8. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Display the completed paintings for a group discussion. Remind students of the challenge.
  2. Ask students to:
    Look closely at the paintings.
    Choose one that interests you for some reason.
    Share thoughts about the work.
  3. During the discussion include references to:
    contrast - how it has been used to create depth
    movement - how colour and texture get the eye to travel through the whole space
    technique - the effects of different painting techniques

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. (Downloads - PET_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - PET_self-assessment.pdf)