Lesson Plan (With Lab)

Here is a lesson plan I created based of a project done earlier this semester (Project 1 Digital Art Collage). This lesson plan assumes that the class will have a complete computer lab at their disposal. The project incorporates digital collage with self-portrait design and focuses on the topics of foreground and background.

Brent Erickson

Art 3814 

Collage Self Portrait/Silhouette 

Grade Level: 8th Grade

Time Needed: 4 45 minute class session

Focus: This lesson will work as an exercise allowing students to further understand the concept of space within an artwork.


a. - Analyze how the principles of media arts such

       as repetition, unity and contrast are used in the

       creation, presentation or response to media artworks.

b. - Demonstrate use of a variety of tools,

                   materials and techniques in media arts based on the characteristics of the                               hardware and software.

c.        Students will demonstrate and understanding of foreground and background

        through use of positive and negative space.

Motivational Resources: Slideshow on collage works (examples can include Robert Rauschenberg, Henri Matisse, Max Ernst, etc...), any text with examples of collage art works, pervious class work on similar or same subject, a digital folder of stock photography and images

Art Materials: Computer lab, Desktop Computer (Mac), Photoshop CS3 (or higher), sketchbook paper, pencil, stock images

Introduction to Lesson

Collage involves the use pre-existing materials, which are incorporated into a two-dimensional surface (Kachur). Through the use of mixed media, the artist is able to create a much more distorted world than possible with other media. This can be beneficial to an artist attempting to achieve an imprecise image in their work. With this, collage work seems most appropriate as being related to the 20th century's fast and sometimes confusing pace (Kachur). Pablo Picasso did the first purposeful use of collage in fine art in 1912 (Kachur). As the technique is somewhat young in the fine art world, it has also branched off into the digital realm.

Intentionally built in the 1940's as war machines (Binkley), computers have become much more useful to the individual and the artist. The computer itself has become an excepted tool within the art community today, but still draws in some critical response. Art can be created seamlessly in a manner that challenges our knowledge of "truth" within a work (Binkley). This can be used to an artist's advantage, creating works that were once confined to his/her imagination due to physical limitations. Since the computer is a machine, the current state of things within our technological society becomes an appropriate subject within all forms of digital art.

Instructional Procedure

Class 1: Begin class with hand out for assignment explaining details and requirements of project (this will consist of a explanation of foreground, background, negative and positive space, self portrait and silhouette). Follow with a spoken explanation having students follow along with the handout. A slideshow with examples of collage art should also be display during the explanation as a source of reference and inspiration for the students. Continue the rest of class with time for sketching and idea formation. Homework will consist of a readied idea for next class.

Class 2: Class will meet and go directly to the computer lab for a short demo on basic Photoshop tools that will be useful for the assignment. After the demo, show students where the stock images can be found on the computer desktop. Allow students to begin working. Students should start creating a space for their portrait to be in, followed by a self-portrait within said space. Answer any questions. Work time will be provided for the next class session.

Class 3: Continue day as workday. Answer any questions. Inform students that next class will be a critique of their works along with a project turn in.

Class 4: Class will meet in computer lab for critique. Students will print their works on lab printer (if no printer, display works on computer screen) and individual critiques will begin. Critiques will consist of constructive feedback (encourage students to point out what works within the image and things that could be improved). The students will then turn in their work at the end of class. The instructor, based of a pre-established rubric, will grade projects. Rubric criteria will consist of timely completion, demonstration of understanding of topics covered (foreground, background, negative and positive space, self-portrait), and participation in class critique. Grades will be given back to students along with works at next class


Student work will be evaluated both in class during a critique by classmates and afterwards by the instructor, based off of a rubric. Grades will be given in an A through F fashion and returned to students after project completion.

DBAE Checklist

Art Production - Students will create self-portraits based off of digital collage

Aesthetics - Students will design a space and self-portrait that echo each other, creating            harmony throughout the work

Art History - Students will learn about collage and digital collage art foundations as well            as artist within each field

Art Criticism - Students will participate in a in-class critique



Binkley, Timothy. "Computer Art." Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. Ed. Michael Kelly.            Oxford Art Online. 5 Dec. 2009            <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t234/e0124>.

Kachur, Lewis. "Collage." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 5 Dec. 2009            <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T018573>.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by B published on December 8, 2009 4:08 PM.

Lesson Plan (No Lab) was the previous entry in this blog.

Digital Arts Workshop - Final is the next entry in this blog.

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