Skip Navigation

 

Looking at Painting
Looking at Painting
PAINTERS  |  GALLERY  |  PROGRAMS  |  CLASSROOM  |  LINKS  |  KET ARTS
Outlines
Program 1
Program 2
Program 3
- - - - - - - -
Classroom Use
Program 1
Program 2
- - - - - - - -
Lesson Plans
Middle School
Fantasy Creature
Gesture Drawing
Monoprint
Self-Portrait
Still Life
High School
Abstraction/Critique
Abstraction/Writing
Landscape
Self-Portrait Unit
Still Life

Kentucky Educational Television
Lesson Plan
Fantasy Creature

Activity: Creating an Assemblage Sculpture of a Fantasy Creature

Video: Looking at Painting, Program 3: “Abstraction”

Grade Level: middle school

Length of Lesson: about 10 class sessions

Web Site Resources: Nancy Cassell biography and five paintings beginning at gallery page 64

Segments: Nancy Cassell speaking about ...

04:55-05:41  early experiences in art
10:05-11:56  the influence of nature
17:06-18:08  influences, including surrealists and abstract expressionists
25:54-27:58  her approach
32:53-34:37  working in black and white; use of ink and other media

Concept/Objectives:
Students will:

  1. collaborate in creating a fantasy assemblage sculpture. (AH-M-4.1.42)
  2. use the elements of art and principles of design. (AH-M-4.1.41)
  3. create a sculpture using a variety of processes and media to communicate ideas, feelings, or experiences. (AH-M-4.1.34)

Questions To Guide Your Instruction
Ask these questions of your students:

  1. Where does Nancy Cassell get her inspiration for her artwork?
  2. How can sound make for a visual rhythm in a painting or sculpture?
  3. What characteristics make Nancy Cassell’s work so interesting and unusual?
  4. What is the subject of your fantasy sculpture creature? How will your group design and construct this fantasy creature?
  5. What is the significance of the patterns your group chose?
  6. What are the characteristics of surrealism? Is your work surrealistic?

Kentucky Core Content for Assessment:
AH-M-4.1.31, AH-M-4.1.34, AH-M-4.1.39, AH-M-4.2.31, AH-M-4.1.32, AH-M-4.1.36, AH-M-4.1.41, AH-M-4.2.32, AH-M-4.1.33, AH-M-4.1.38, AH-M-4.1.42, AH-M-4.2.33

Critical Vocabulary:
abstract
non-objective
assemblage
improvisation
surrealism
abstract expressionism
René Magritte
Willem de Kooning
Jackson Pollock
Arshile Gorky
Elizabeth Murray
art elements: texture, space (positive and negative), line, shape, value, form
principles of design: pattern, contrast, movement (rhythm), balance, emphasis, proportion, unity

Instructional Strategies and Activities
View segments from Looking at Painting Program 3, “Abstraction,” featuring Nancy Cassell. Have students critically discuss what they have seen using the guiding questions. Offer other reference materials on the surrealist and abstract expressionist artists as well as Elizabeth Murray. Discuss the characteristics of surrealism and abstract expressionism.

Students are to work together in groups of two or three. Each member of the group is responsible for an individual design of a fantasy creature and for creating one black and white pattern. The creature will be made of found objects and then painted. Any found object that can be adhered is game; use thin copper wire to tie metal pieces on.

Students collaborate on creating a final design for their sculpture based on combining the team members’ individual designs. Then they will collaborate in assembling their found objects. The sculpture, as a three-dimensional object, must be interesting from all points of view. It must balance without a base, therefore creating a more interesting negative/positive space relationship.

Next, students paint their sculptures with black or white acrylic paint as a primer. Stop at this point for a short interim critique so the students can give one another suggestions on improving their sculptures.

Students should now decide on the placement of the patterns they created. Instruct them to repeat each pattern three times on the creature. This will help unify the piece.

Each student will now draw the creature he or she helped create using black ink washes. Have them place their fantasy creatures in colorful, surrealistic landscapes using watercolors.

The students will write personal essays that include reflections on the collaborative process, interpretations of their designs, and evaluations of the success of the project.

Class critique: As a final step, all students will participate in a discussion of both paintings and sculptures using art terms and the four-step critical process (describe, analyze, interpret, and evaluate).

Materials
18 X 24" heavy (100#) white sulphite paper or watercolor paper
black ink
watercolor paint
miscellaneous found objects: silverware, sticks, wood pieces, Styrofoam, cardboard, egg crates, etc.
watercolor brushes
adhesives/fasteners: wood glue, Goop, thin copper wire, hot glue guns

Support/Connections/Resources
Looking at Painting web site (www.ket.org/painting)

Assessment and Scoring Guide
Prompt: What is the subject of your fantasy creature sculpture? Describe the process used to design and construct this fantasy creature.

Directions:

  1. Students view Kentucky artist Nancy Cassell’s segments in Program 3, “Abstraction,” of the Looking at Painting series.
  2. Students create designs for their creatures.
  3. Students collaborate in combining designs and creating their sculptures and patterns.
  4. Students create their sculptures using the art elements of texture, space (positive and negative), line, shape, value, and form and the principles of design: pattern, contrast, movement (rhythm), balance, emphasis, proportion, and unity. Students select and plan a composition using variety.
  5. Students create a painting of their fantasy creature in a surrealistic landscape.
  6. Students write personal essays including reflections on their collaborative process, interpretations of their designs, and evaluation of the success of the project.
  7. Students critique the finished products.
4 
  • The student collaborates to create a 3D fantasy creature.
  • The student completes a painting and a written personal essay.
  • The student fully collaborates to design an effective sculpture that clearly reflects an understanding of all the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The student creates a successful painting that reflects an understanding of all of the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The student fully explains the team members’ collaborative process and the interpretation of their designs and evaluates the success of the project in a written personal essay.
  • The project reflects the student’s best effort and effective craftsmanship.
  • The student follows all directions and always asks questions when uncertain.
  • The student is an active participant in the class critique, and his or her remarks reflect a clear understanding of the project.
3 
  • The student collaborates to create a 3D fantasy creature.
  • The student completes a painting and a written personal essay.
  • The student collaborates to design an effective sculpture that clearly reflects an understanding of all of the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The student creates a somewhat successful painting that reflects an understanding of most of the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The student mostly explains the team members’ collaborative process and the interpretation of their designs and evaluates the success of the project in a written personal essay.
  • The project reflects good effort and somewhat effective craftsmanship.
  • The student follows most directions and usually asks questions when uncertain.
  • The student is a fairly active participant in the class critique, and his or her remarks reflect a clear understanding of the project.
2 
  • The student collaborates to create a 3D fantasy creature.
  • The student completes a painting and a written personal essay.
  • The student somewhat collaborates to design an effective sculpture that clearly reflects an understanding of all of the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The student creates a painting that reflects an understanding of most of the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The student adequately explains the team members’ collaborative process and the interpretation of their designs and evaluates the success of the project in a written personal essay.
  • The project reflects acceptable effort and craftsmanship.
  • The student follows a few key directions and doesn’t usually ask questions when uncertain.
  • The student is an acceptable participant in the class critique when called upon, and his or her remarks reflect a general understanding of the project.
1 
  • The student collaborates to create a 3D fantasy creature.
  • The student completes a painting and a written personal essay.
  • The student minimally collaborates to design an effective sculpture that clearly reflects an understanding of all of the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The student creates a painting that reflects a minimal understanding of the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The student minimally explains the team members’ collaborative process and the interpretation of their designs and evaluates the success of the project in a written personal essay.
  • The project reflects minimal effort and craftsmanship.
  • The student follows a few directions and doesn’t usually ask questions when uncertain.
  • The student is an inadequate participant in the class critique when called upon, and his or her remarks reflect a minimal understanding of the project.
0 
  • The student doesn’t complete a painting.

This lesson was prepared by Franzee Dolbeare and Cyndi Young.


600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951