Lesson #1: Painting with Lines

Part of the unit: Discoveries in Paint |


How can we create a painting with lines?
Students will be able to:
Describe brush strokes
Manage paint media
Create line compositions with black tempera paint
Students will understand that:
Artists gain knowledge of media.
Artists exercise imagination.
Chart paper, 12x18" drawing paper, black paint, 1" flat brushes, water cans, sponges and paper towels
Reproductions of paintings using lines (Kline and Stella)
Show reproductions of work by Franz Kline and Frank Stella.
  • How are these paintings alike?
  • How are they different?
Ask students to identify the different types of lines they see (long, short, thick, thin, curving). As students describe the line, the teacher writes the description on chart paper and illustrates the line with black paint.
The teacher will demonstrate paint management techniques: how to use brush, paint, and water. Students will demonstrate their understanding of a variety of lines by coming to the board and painting lines on chart paper based on call out prompts:  long line, short line, curvy line, zig-zag line, thin line, thick line.
  • How can you use your brush to make a thin line?
  • How can you use your brush to make a thick line?
Distribute paper and 1" flat brushes. Each group of four students will share a cup of black paint, a sponge, and a can of water. Remind students that they will be creating a non-objective painting using black lines.
  • How can you use lines to create an interesting composition? (vary the lines, use the entire sheet of paper, overlap, leave big and small spaces of white paper, have the lines touch the edges of the paper...)
Display student work. Invite students to view the work.
  • How are our paintings similar to the paintings of Kline and Stella?
  • How are they different?
  • Ask students to identify paintings that have: varied lines, one type of line, overlapping, white spaces, lines touching the edges of the paper, lines floating in the middle...
In preparation for the next lesson, the students should identify at least ten different colors they see in their classroom.  They should record the object and the color in their notebooks.