Saturday, June 8, 2013

Decorative Line Animals

Decorative Line Animals

Talk about a great way to introduce Acrylic paint to students! This lesson teaches students about the creative process, color, line, rhythm and unity.

I just finished uploading this lesson to TpT! It only took me a year! I'm adding some more information for those of you who like to do stuff on your own as well!

  • Medium - Acrylic
  • Project Length - 2-3 weeks
  • Grade - 7-12
  • Objective - Explore line, rhythm, color and shape. Introduction to acrylic paint.
  • Materials - Acrylic paint, (I had students use only Phthalo Blue, Ultra Blue, Hansa Yellow, Cad Medium Yellow, Nap Crimson, Cad Red Medium, White and Black) Acrylic Brushes (Synthetic fibers), Water, Acrylic Paper or Canvas, Plates for palettes, cups with lids to save paint if desired.
  • Technique: I have students look up an animal of their choice online and have them print it in color and in grayscale. I have them grid the grayscale printout and their final surface. I talk to them about not using paint directly from the tube, but mixing their colors. I also talk about color bias and give the paint accordingly. They do a color plan and a small scale test of colors on a scrap piece of paper before beginning. We talk about rhythm and line and do some Zentangles as a precursor
    to this lesson.
  • Link to the Presentation Lesson Plan, Evaluation and Doodle Starter Sheets:
  • Line Animals Lesson
Take a look at some of the final paintings from my class:

Decorative Line Animal Lesson

Here are some of the steps that I had my students do:

Grid their grayscale reference photo. I also had them outline the basic contour of the animal in black marker, to make sure they simplified the shapes of the animal.

I had them use scrap paper to create a test of their color schemes and line designs. I made sure they knew not to paint their animal twice! Just text some of the colors and lines in this step!

Students were asked to mix their colors with other hues and to add white or black to their colors. They were told to create their backgrounds first then add detail.


  1. Beautiful! I've enjoyed exploring and will be following with pleasure..

    1. Thank you! I love seeing and sharing my student's work! :)

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  3. Was this high school or middle school? Did you tie in an artist? I love them! I think that my middle schoolers would love this!

  4. This was high school, but with many 9th graders. I think it would be perfect for middle school. I didn't tie in an artist, but let me know if you think of one that would work because I'd love to do that!

  5. I love these! Thanks for all the great pictures and step-by-step. I think I may bring in some reference to the animal carvings from Oaxaca Mexico as they have similar bright colors, lines and patterns