I created this unit for high school painting classes but I have also adapted it to fit my seventh grade classes. This unit is a series of two different paintings. This is a great thing to do once students have learned basic color theory, color mixing, etc.
To begin, pre assess the student’s knowledge of the following: Abstract, Chuck Close, Warm Vs. Cool Colors, Grid, Non-Objective and Acrylic. (For me, although I was teaching a high school painting class, some students did not know acrylic vs. watercolor)!
The first thing I taught them in this unit was the difference between warm and cool colors. We looked at various examples and talked about how they make us feel. I then taught them about Chuck Close. We looked at his work before he became paralyzed, then compared and contrasted it with the work that he did after he was paralyzed. We talked about his grid method and discussed how to set up a grid within our artwork. We discuss advantages and disadvantages of working with a grid. We then covered one more thing: Non-Objective art. We looked at various examples until I felt that students had a good understanding of what it meant.
The first painting served as a great practice for good craftsmanship and working with acrylics. Students were asked to create a non-objective acrylic painting using a grid and either warm or cool colors. This is how they turned out: