Wednesday, December 11, 2013

3d abstractions.

Just because an artwork is abstract in style, doesn't mean it has to look flat.

One of the 5th grade art standards is identifying different styles in art. At the beginning of this lesson we reviewed how students made 3d space and 3d shapes in their Northern Lights drawing last week. I posed 2 questions, had students pair share, and then students volunteered answers (perspective & tinting and shading).

Then we worked through what makes abstract art abstract- the artist changes things from reality, it could be through any of the art elements. We identified examples of both realism and abstraction in posters around my room.

I then shared a few images from Filipino artist Hernando Ocampo, who passed away in 1978. With the inclusion of this fact, some students expressed disappointment because we wouldn't get to hear back from him:)

In the abstract paintings I shared, I pointed out how he still made parts look 3d by using light and dark colors. I also pointed out how Hernando made certain parts stand out by using more intense coloring in those areas.

I asked students to create an abstract design that repeated a shape at least 7 times- varying the size and direction of the shape. They then used crayola color sticks to make the shapes have 3d volume by using tints and shades.

Before doing their final design, students made at least 2 rough draft compositions on the back of their paper. When they finished these sketches, they were to share in pairs, tris, or quads and explain why they were picking one design over the others. I then had a couple students from each class share their reasoning with the class.

I love the variety in visual responses to the creative problem I set forth for them. When they finished their drawing, students completed an exit slip that asked 2 questions- How this abstract drawing was similar to the more realistic one from last week? What was the most successful part of their project and why? (5W10)


  1. This is a very striking result from an interesting lesson.Hernando's art is a great place to start. Thanks for sharing.

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