Students use artwork to make observations about shapes, colors, patterns, the main subject, and setting, and observe patterns in their own environment.
Lines, Shapes and Colors
Time Alloted30 - 45 Minutes
State Content Standards
ARTISTIC PERCEPTION: K.1.1 Recognize and describe simple patterns found in the environment and works of art. K.1.2 Identify the elements of art (line, color, shape/form, texture, value, space) in the environment and in works of art, emphasizing line, color, and shape/form. 1.1.1 Describe and replicate repeated patterns in nature, in the environment, and in works of art.
CREATIVE EXPRESSION: K.2.1 Use lines, shapes/forms, and colors to make patterns. K.2.6 Use geometric shapes/forms (circle, triangle, square) in a work of art. 1.2.4 Plan and use variations in line, shape/form, color, and texture to communicate ideas or feelings in works of art.
AESTHETIC VALUING: K.4.1 Discuss their own works of art, using appropriate art vocabulary (e.g., color, shape/form, texture). 1.4.1 Discuss works of art created in the classroom, focusing on selected elements of art (e.g., shape/form, texture, line, color).
English Language Arts:
Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development. K.1.7 Identify and sort common words in basic categories (e.g., colors, shapes, foods). K.2.3 Connect to life experiences the information and events in texts.
Listening and Speaking Strategies. K.1.1 Understand and follow one-and two-step oral directions. K.1.2 Share information and ideas, speaking audibly in complete, coherent sentences.
Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics) K.2.1 Describe people, places, things (e.g., size, color, shape), locations, and actions. 1.2.4 Provide descriptions with careful attention to sensory detail.
- Focus artwork
- paper (two pieces per student)
Teaching Tips: This lesson can be broken into two mini-lessons after step 3, if needed. The teacher is encouraged to add any questions as he/she deems necessary, as well as encourage questions from the students.
1) On the overhead draw a horizontal line, and ask students to tell you what it is. Show other types of lines then allow students time to practice basic lines with their bodies (i.e.: curved, straight, diagonal, zig zag). Hand out a blank sheet of paper and a pencil to every student. Have the students draw a horizontal line anywhere on their paper. Next model for the class a diagonal line and have the students draw a diagonal line on their paper. Repeat with curved lined, zig zag line, thick line, thin line, etc. Ask the students if they can demonstrate other types of lines. Allow the students to come up to the whiteboard and draw different types of lines that haven’t been mentioned. Allow the students to share their lines by having the students place their papers on the floor and have the students talk about their work.
2) Direct the students to turn over their papers. On the overhead, draw a pattern of repeating squares, circles, and triangles one pattern of shapes at a time. Ask the students if they know the names of the shapes. Write the names of the shape under the shape. Have the students find those shapes in objects in the classroom, and practice drawing the shapes in the air with their fingers or whole bodies. Have cut shapes available to students so the students can trace the shapes onto their papers. Direct the students to copy the pattern of repeating shapes on their paper, one row of shapes at a time.
3) Hand out a blank sheet of paper and markers to every student. Direct the students to create a pattern on their paper using line, shape, and color. Allow students to use patterns to trace shapes. Model one or two patterns for the students, showing how to use color in a pattern. Have students put their name on their paper and hand it in.
4) Show students the focus artwork, Wolf in Studio. Ask the students to describe what they see in the artwork. Some sample questions:
a. What is going on in this painting?
b. Who is the main character?
c. Where do you think it takes place? What makes you say that?
d. Is this something you would see in real life or was it imagined?
e. What would you hear if you were in the painting?
f. What colors do you see?
g. What shapes do you see?
5) Once students have described the objects in the artwork ask the students to point out where there are different types of lines. If the artwork is on a transparency, overlay a blank transparency and allow students to circle lines on the transparency with an overhead pen. If the artwork is being shown on a whiteboard, allow students to use the whiteboard markers and circle examples.
6) Next ask the students to describe where they see repeating shapes that create a pattern in the artwork, using the technique in step #3.
7) Ask the students if the artwork reminds them of anything in their life. Allow students time to respond. Pair up the students and have them tell their stories to each other. If time permits, have some students dictate their stories to an adult.
Assessment: By creating their own picture of lines and sharing verbally what they have learned about lines, students will demonstrate an understanding of line. By creating their own pattern of shapes with color, students will demonstrate an understanding of shapes and patterns.
Teach this lesson with:
American, born 1920
Oil on canvas
Crocker Art Museum Purchase
German, 1835–circa 1900
Oil on canvas
Crocker Art Museum, E. B. Crocker Collection
Title and Date:
Artist: Joan Brown
Born in San Francisco, Joan Brown attended the San Francisco Art Institute where she was strongly influenced by artists David Park and Elmer Bischoff, both working in the Bay Area figurative style. Brown, at age twenty-two, precociously became the subject of a solo exhibition in New York City and was catapulted into instant fame by her subsequent inclusion in the Whitney Museum’s “Young American 1960” exhibition. What followed this early success was a ten-year hiatus from the art world, during which time Brown grappled with her increasingly personal subject matter and growing individual style. Themes of life interests, her studio, and self-reflection dominated her new broadly delineated and colorful figurative work.
Brown’s explorations of her emotions and her responses to the work of other artists is often manifest in depictions of her studio—an outer space in which all the inner conflicts challenging her as an artist everyday play out. This piece explores shapes, patterns and line. Wolf in Studio uses pattern by repeating colors and shapes throughout her piece. Her implementation of line is also significant, in that it remains constant through her work with the animals and is always bold and observable. Her use of repletion continues in her use of animals imagery and in the late 1960s, this type of imagery became her primary subject matter for a time, and she felt that a deeply spiritual connection existed between the personalities of animals and humans. Soon animals in her work acted as symbols for people in her life or personified specific emotions. A wild and solitary animal, the wolf is particularly known for its ferocity and is regarded as a dark menace across many cultures. In Jungian psychology, however, the wolf is a symbol of individual psyche. For Brown, this wolf best captures all the solitude, self-confrontation, and passion of her commitment to a creative life.