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UWCSEA Gr6 Art - Unit 3

Page history last edited by Frank Curkovic 10 years, 2 months ago


(video link)


"Up Close"

Macro Photography + Painting


Enduring Understanding: Nature & the human environment inspires art. 


Guiding Questions: Skills: (students will be able to...)
  • What do we notice when looking closely?
  • What makes a good composition?
  • What makes a painting successful? 
  • What do we mean by Abstraction? 
  • In abstract art, are there abiding principles, or does anything go? 
  • How can we find meaning in a work of art?  


  • utilise macro photography
  • utilise simple effects in Photoshop


  • blend paint to create tonal variation (using watercolour pencil crayons initially & tempera paint) 
  • apply colour theory to create space and depth in a composition 
  • create tints and shades with tempera paint
  • develop brush control & gradation


Key Terms: abstraction, balance, blending, composition, emphasis, framing, Georgia O'Keeffe, gradation, macro photography, pattern, tones




Summative Assessment 1: Photography

Summative Assessment 2: Painting


Painting Rubric here


Note: 1 week will also entail a trip to the Botanical Gardens


Lesson 1

[Students to finish glazing ceramic plates from previous unit]



What is macro-photography?

What makes a good composition?

What could you possibly photograph on the Botanical Gardens trip?

Record your answers in your sketchbooks.


It is important for you to remember to take several photos of the same object.

Try different angles and points of view. Try and take both portrait and landscape shots.

Consider how you will frame the subject.

The key is to take many photos. Not all will be good, but at least you will have a bank of photos to work from later.

Take at least one photo showing the whole object, then take more getting closer and closer.

Some of your photos can also focus on abstract close-ups.

You should take photos primarily for their pattern, shape, form, colour or texture.


Here is the sheet you will get the day of the trip:


Lesson 2 - Macro Photography

***Botanical Gardens Trip***

Focus: What do we notice when looking closely?

Import your photos to iPhoto. Create an album.

Create a folder in Google Drive to back up your photos. Share it with the teacher.



Lesson 3 - Photography + Photoshop Effects/Filters

Warm-up (5 mins):

Select a photo from the Botanical Gardens trip.

Further crop the photo so that it is almost abstract.

Drag the photo to your desktop and rename it as follows:

Name-Tutor Group-2014-3w-up

Drag it back into iPhoto.

(*we do this because if you rename it within iPhoto, it only saves that name within iPhoto itself.

Once you drag it out, it would revert back to its original filename such as IMG2345.JPG)

Back it up to Google Drive.


Small group discussion: What makes a good composition?


Task: Select another photo to import into Photoshop to experiment with effects and filters.

Save your experimentations.




Lesson 4

Warm-up (10mins): Draw the following flower in your sketchbooks in 10 mins focusing on form, tones and gradation.

Quarter page size is adequate.

(image link)


Task (30 mins): Select one of your photos from the Botanical Gardens trip.

You will draw it using watercolour pencils.

The purpose of the task is to focus on form and gradation.

What makes a good composition?


Conclusion: Critique work.

How do you think you performed?



Look at some flower paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe.

Write up some basic biographical information about her and her work.

(There is also a video about her at the top of this page.)



Lesson 5

Warm up: Share Georgia O'Keeffe research in small groups. (10 mins)


View the following work of art and address the 3 questions (15 mins):

"Canna Red and Orange" by Georgia O'Keeffe 1922



Small group discussion (10 mins): What makes a painting successful? 

Document your group answers in your sketchbook.

Be prepared to share your answers as a class.


Task (20mins): Select one of your photos from the Botanical Gardens trip.

Duplicate a copy of the photo within iPhoto by simply pressing "Command/D."

Play with cropping to further zoom in to create an "abstract" piece.

Paint your composition with water coloured pencils or watercolour (at the discretion of the teacher) focusing on gradation.


Conclusion (10mins): Critique paintings.



Watch the video below entitled, "What is Abstract Art?

 Complete the worksheet (pictured below). You may download the PDF here.




Lesson 6

Warm up: Draw the following flower in coloured pencil (10mins).

Focus on colour! You may change the colour if you wish.


Homework check (15mins)


Whole Class Discussion:

  • What do we mean by Abstraction? 
  • In abstract art, are there abiding principles, or does anything go? 
  • How can we find meaning in a work of art? 
  • Review elements/principles and homework task.


Summative Unit Task:

Nature & the human environment inspires art. Art can be found everywhere in nature.

We can find examples of pattern, colour, line, repetition, shape/form, texture etc.

You will create an abstracted painting from the natural world.

How will you create interest in your work for the viewer?

You will be assessed on your composition (how you frame the subject), your use of colour (including gradation) and your brushwork.

You are encouraged to photograph the natural world and create an abstract piece from that. You may use a photo from the Botanical Gardens trip, Tioman or take more on your own.

Also seriously consider how you will use colour. You may alter your choices of colour from the photo to create more impact if you wish.

You will have 3 full lessons to complete your work.


Painting Rubric here.


Task: Creating value and gradation. 

You will paint an apple or orange utilising shades and gradation, or the picture below (ignoring the line in the middle).


Conclusion: In your books, answer the following based on what we have done in class up to this point.

"I used to think....Now I think...."


Homework: (optional) Take further macro photos to use in your work. (Save them within iPhoto and back up via Google Drive)



Lesson 7

Whole class discussion (10mins): 

How can nature inspire art? How can we abstract reality?

How are photography and painting similar and different?

How could a painter approach to paint this photo?


Task (45mins): Select a photo from your library to abstract.

You will create a practice painting in A4 size to experiment with colour, blending and gradation.

You will have the remainder of the class to complete. Don't worry so much about accuracy at this stage.

The goal is to focus and learn from your mistakes at this stage.


Conclusion (5-10mins):

Reflect on you performance during this lesson and share your thoughts with a peer.

What were your strengths/weaknesses? Is there anything you would do differently? Why?


Homework: Be prepared to start your final composition next week. 

Have your selected photo ready, but DO NOT crop it as a square.



Lesson 8

Begin final composition.

Size to be larger than A3.

Student may draft out shapes in pencil first.


Homework: Attend an Open Art Studio session if required. (Mon, Wed, Thurs)



Lesson 9

Final composition cont'd


Homework: Attend an Open Art Studio session if required. (Mon, Wed, Thurs)



Lesson 10

Final composition cont'd

Due next lesson!


Homework: Attend an Open Art Studio session if required. (Mon, Wed, Thurs)



Lesson 11

Presentation, Reflection & Assessment







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