Ceiling Tiles with Phillip Martin
Lesson Plan
Learner Outcomes:
Color: Understand that colors can be transparent and opaque
  Understand that color schemes can be analogous, monochromatic and complementary
Line: Appreciate that line is used to represent the world around us
Space: Appreciate that positive and negative space is used to enhance aesthetics
Texture: Appreciate that texture is used to enhance realism
  Appreciate that texture is used to enhance aesthetics
Form: Appreciate that art encompasses a variety of 3-D forms using various media
Design: Realize that the contrast of value (tone) causes eye movement
  Appreciate the difference between unity and monotony in art
Materials: 25 ceiling tiles, or whatever surface is available
  25 6B pencils
  25 pencils
  25 brushes
  Acrylic paint
  an assortment of different beans
Vocabulary: Transparent, Opaque, Analogous, Monochromatic and Complementary Colors, Line, Positive and Negative Space, Texture, Media, Unity, Monotony
There is so much potential for this activity. I've had students paint famous paintings, Native America patterns and African Designs. For this particular lesson, the subject is Aboriginal art from Australia. This style frequently depicts animals, often using earth colors. In this activity, students may work alone or in groups of no more than three to create an aboriginal-style painting. They may choose any animal or color scheme they wish.

First have the students research the animal of choice and get a photocopy or printout. Then, they need to graph the animal onto the ceiling tile. (If you have not taught students to work with a grid, that lesson may be a good starting point. It is such a valuable tool.) Soft 6B pencils work well for drawing on ceiling tiles. It is important to have a bold and simple design.

Stress how important it is that the students do not to erase on the surface of the ceiling tile. (If they make a mistake, it will be painted over anyway.) They must not lean on the surface of the tiles with their elbows or knees because it will create permanent craters, ruining the surface of the painting. And, students need to be careful not to touch the fiberglass any more than absolutely necessary. I strongly suggest gloves to move the tiles.

Aboriginal paintings frequently have some kind of dots. In this activity students will use beans to create a three-dimensional effect.

Helpful hint: One little trick I learned through experience -- it would be good to freeze all the beans a week to kill any insects that might later want to bore their way out of the beans. At least, that was a problem in Africa.

Another Helpful hint: I suggest the students paint the seeds first on Styrofoam trays (two coats). When the seeds are painted, they must be separated so that no bean touches another. After the paint has dried, apply a second coat. When it is time to glue the seeds, some of the Styrofoam will come up with the bean. That isn't a problem because that flat side can be glued to the surface of the ceiling tile.

Copyright 2000, revised 2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.