Lesson Plan: Leaf Motifs – Abstracted Acrylic Leaves

"Leaf Motif #2" by Georgia O'Keeffe

“Leaf Motif #2” by Georgia O’Keeffe

Title: Leaf Motifs
Grade Level: Art 1
Media: Acrylic Paint
Subject: Introduction to the Elements of Art and Principles of Design
Description: Original Abstracted Leaves Painting
Art Elements: line, shape, color, texture, space
Principles of Design: unity, rhythm, proportion, balance
Length: 5 Class Periods

Objectives

  • Students will explore the art elements to create original artwork.
  • Students will design an abstracted composition using the principles of design.
  • Students will discover the art of abstracting what they see.

TEKS

  • Perception

(A) Illustrate ideas for artworks from direct observation and imagination
(B)  Compare and contrast the use of art elements and art principles in personal artworks and those of others, using vocabulary accurately.

  • Creative Expression/Performance

(A) Create visual solutions by elaborating on  direct observation and imagination
(C)  Demonstrate effective use of art media and tools in design, drawing, and painting

  • Knowledge and Skills

(A) Interpret, evaluate, and justify artistic decisions in personal artworks
(B) Select and analyze original artworks by others to form precise conclusions about formal qualities, intents, and meanings

Materials

  • Variety of Master Artist prints that exemplify the elements of art and principles of design, index cards, 8.5”x11” white copy paper
  • Leaves
  • 12” x 18” white paper, paintbrushes, acrylic paints, water cups, washcloths

Motivation

  • Challenge students to list elements that help make pieces of art successful. Allow the class to discuss and debate in order to come to conclusions.
  • After introducing the elements of art and principles of design, hand out an index card to each student. Allow each student to choose one element of art and write the name on one side of the card. On the other side of the card, have the students quickly illustrate examples of that element. After a few brief minutes, have the students find other students that chose the same element and pair into groups. Give each group a standard 8.5”x11” piece of paper and allow them to create a quick composition emphasizing the element they chose within 5 minutes. Encourage group discussion and collaboration. After 5 minutes, have each group introduce their art element and their collaborative composition. After all groups have briefly presented, hang the compositions where everyone can see and start a class discussion on how each group used the principles of design to create a composition.
  • Challenge students to begin thinking of successful ways to use the elements of art and follow the principles of design to create their own compositions.

Elements of Art and Principles of Design

  • Introduce the elements of art and principles of design. Define the terms and demonstrate different kinds of elements of art and different ways to use them with the principles of design.
  • Divide the class into groups of 2 or 3. Give each group an art print from a Master Artist that includes an example of a variety of elements of art and principles of design. Challenge students to identify these art elements in the works of art and explain how the principles of design help create a successful composition.

Art History

  • Show examples of American painter, Georgia O’Keefe’s leaf works, especially her abstracted leaf motifs. Ask students to identify the elements of art within her works and challenge them to identify the principles of design that make her pieces successful.
    • Georgia O’Keefe, Leaf Motif #1, 1924, Oil on Canvas
    • Georgia O’Keefe, Leaf Motif #2, 1924, Oil on Canvas
  • Briefly discuss Georgia O’Keefe’s training, including her mentor, Arthur Wesley Dow, and his discovery of the elements of art and principles of design. Challenge students to explain why the elements and principles of art help a composition become more successful and create more aesthetically-pleasing pieces.

Work
Students will create an original composition utilizing the elements of art and principles of design. Leaves will be given for reference and motivation in creating an abstracted composition.

  1. Begin with a sheet of 12”x18” white paper. This paper should be suitable for acrylic paint.
  2. Observe the leaves and identify elements of art within thm, such as line, shape, color, texture, etc. Imagine how you can use these elements to create your composition.
  3. Begin to create an abstracted composition inspired by the leaves, but not a direct representation of them using the acrylic paints. Utilize the elements of art and principles of design to create your composition. Continue until the entire page is filled.
  4. When finished, analyze your piece with your knowledge of the elements and principles of design and make any changes you feel would help your piece become more successful.

Evaluation – Rubric

  • The elements of art are utilized successfully.
    • Excellent: Three or more elements of art are utilized successfully.
    • Satisfactory: Two elements of art are utilized successfully.
    • Needs Improvement: Only one element of art is utilized successfully.
    • Failed to Incorporate: No elements of art are utilized successfully.
  • The principles of design are utilized successfully.
    • Excellent: Three or more principles of design are utilized successfully.
    • Satisfactory: Two principles of design are utilized successfully.
    • Needs Improvement: Only one principles of design is utilized successfully.
    • Failed to Incorporate: No principles of design are utilized successfully.
  • The entire page is filled with elements of art.
    • Excellent: The entire page is filled with elements of art.
    • Satisfactory: ¾ of the page is filled with elements of art.
    • Needs Improvement: Half of the page is filled with elements of art.
    • Failed to Incorporate: Less than half of the page is filled with elements of art.
  • The composition is an abstracted representation of the leaves.
    • Excellent: The composition is an abstracted representation of the leaves.
    • Satisfactory: The composition is a complete abstraction, and the leaves are unrecognizable.
    • Needs Improvement: The composition is a direct representation of the leaves and is not abstracted.
    • Failed to Incorporate: The composition is not a representation of the leaves.

Activities for Early Finishers:

  • Work on sketchbook assignments
  • Create thumbnail sketches of compositions utilizing the elements of art and principles of design
  • Illustrate the elements of design on index cards
  • Work on crossword puzzles of the elements of art and principles of design
  • Study the elements of art and principles of design
  • Prepare for next assignment