Initial Art with Phillip Martin
Lesson Plan
Learner Outcomes: .................................................... ....................................................
Color: Introduce the terms hues (colors) and tone (value)
  Introduce Primary, Secondary and Intermediate Colors
Line: Appreciate that line is used to represent the world around us
Design: Appreciate the concept of complexity/simplicity in design
Space: Appreciate positive and negative space around us
Materials: 25 pencils
  25 art erasers
  multiple sheets of bond paper
Assortment of colored pencils
  25 sheets 12" x 18" drawing paper
  25 rulers
  25 medium brushes (size 10)
  25 small brushes (size 1)
  Wide black markers, perhaps Sharpies
  Acrylic paint in red, blue, yellow, black and white
Vocabulary: Hue, Tone, Primary, Secondary and Intermediate Colors, Line, Positive and Negative Space
This is a good introduction art activity for color. First tell the students to play with the letters of their name. They generally will write them in a line from left to right. Then, show them examples of how they can really play with the letters of their name. Some letters can be huge, while others are inverted. Other letters can be so large that they go off the page.

Introduce works of Picasso so the students can see examples of his use of color and freedom to play with forms. After this demonstration, allow them to replay with the letters of their name.

Their names were a warm up. Now, have the students play with their initials. First fold bond paper into four boxes, each box for a design with their initials. The letters must overlap and go off the page. It is good if they can also share a border. Once they have the designs made, they can experiment with color combinations with colored pencils. It's practice and the coloring doesn't have to be a work of art.

After approval, use a ruler to make a one-inch border around the page of the final drawing. (Helpful hint: And, the easiest way to do that is to place the ruler along the paper and trace the other side.) Then, draw initials of the approved design large enough to fill the space. Be sure that the letters are a consistent width, possibly two or three ruler widths. Curved letters are difficult and may require adult supervision. Just warning you.

When painting, each initial must be a primary color. Each intersection must be the appropriate secondary color. (Where red and yellow letters cross, the intersection must be orange.) It is less confusing if the students mark each section of a red letter with a very light "R". Then, they mark each section of the yellow letter with a very light "Y". This makes it very clear where the intersections are. Any place with a "R" and "Y" must be painted orange. Erase any pencil marks before painting that section of the letter. If the students press too hard, erasing is going to be a problem and sometimes the paint won't cover the mistake. So, really urge the students to write lightly.

Helpful hint: Experience has taught me that students do better painting if they first paint the border of a letter and later paint the interior. I suggest smaller brushes for the fine work and medium brushes for the interior. Instead of holding the brush like a pencil, when painting the border, hold the brush pointing directly ahead of you and pull the brush towards you. This really works efficiently.

Background colors and border may be any color desired for accent. Use a ruler to outline the finished painting with a wide black marker like a Sharpie pen. Helpful hint: For best results, work with each student individually when outlining.

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