Visual Arts: Abstract Painting

Lesson Plan: Abstract Painting
Grade level: 4-12
Duration: 2-4 class periods
Media Type: acrylic or tempera paint
National Standards for Visual Arts: (see bottom of page)
Objectives: To create a one-of-a-kind abstract painting after being inspired by local / regional painter / artist.

(website for help with writing rubrics)


4 - Standards are exceeded
3 - Standards are met
2 - Standards may be met at a very low quality or with some exceptions
1 - Standards are not met

Vocabulary (Visual Arts Elements/Principles):

  • color
  • shape
  • line
  • texture
  • balance
  • unity
  • proportion
  • form
  • value
  • space
  • contrast
  • emphasis
  • movement
  • pattern
  • rhythm

Materials and Procedure:

Day 1:

Introduce artwork by artists Martin DeWitt, AJ Atwater, and Elizabeth Kuth.

Share the following PlayList videos with students: (5:49) (4:53)

Discussion Questions:

Important questions to ask students: “What do you see?” “How does this artwork make you feel?” “What was the artist trying to show you?”

Students brainstorm ideas of creating individual abstract paintings. Sketches are created; use/types of materials are discussed. (What will they need? Paint brushes, water cups, paper, types of paint, pencils, etc.)

Day 2: Abstract paintings started. Various materials used depending on what is available.
Students may paint on paper, wood, cardstock, canvas boards, etc.

Day 3-4: Students complete abstract painting. Review of artist information is discussed. “Exit ticket” used as way of checking for understanding. Exit tickets can be created in Google Forms if technology is available for students. Elizabeth Kuth srticle available below for discussion with students.




National Standards for Visual Arts:

Sample National Visual Arts Standards: More could be covered. See link above.

VA:Cr2.1.6a: Demonstrate openness in trying new ideas, materials, methods, and approaches in making works of art and design.
VA:Cr3.1.6a: Reflect on whether personal artwork conveys the intended meaning and revise accordingly.
VA:Cr1.1.Ia: Use multiple approaches to begin creative endeavors.
VA:Re.7.2.8a: Compare and contrast contexts and media in which viewers encounter images that influence ideas, emotions, and actions.

Funding for this program is provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Click here for more information or visit the Minnesota Legacy website.

Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment