Visual Art Deep Dive

Many of these ideas can be modified and used at any age, additional images can be found on 
the Student Art post, and the listings below will continue to expand as new links and content 
are added. 

Kindergarten/1st Grade………………………………………………………..........
...with inspiration from and a big shout out to Holly Smith!
Abstraction! Take a long look at the paintings of Alma Thomas and Howardena Pindell. How do 
they use dots, lines, marks and shapes to create their images and visual stories? What will you 
make with dots and dashes of color?
Junk Mail Collages: Cut up those old envelopes and put them together in new combinations. Do
you see a face, a building, a vehicle, a robot or some objects? Use the paper, glue, crayons,
markers and other recycled scrap papers to create new and fantastic images.
Cubist Portraits: Take a look at Picasso's cubist portraits and see how you would show multiple
sides of a person - or sides of their personality -all at once on one sheet of paper or a canvas.
Textured Masks: Take some time to look at masks from around the world. You can find masks in
many cultures in Africa, the Americas, Australia, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Once you look at a
variety of masks, sketch some ideas for your own mask, and then collect all kinds of small
pieces of scrap cardboard and one larger piece for the head. Glue the small pieces in
layer upon layer to create facial features and other details. Patterns, designs and textures make
your mask more interesting. Once the layers are dry, if you like, you can add color with paint,
oil pastel, construction paper crayons, or markers.
Wrapped Animals: Inspired by Barbara Franc, Bryant Holsenbeck also Deborah Butterfield,
Jean-Luc Cornec, and Jeff Koons.   
Build a scrap paper and tape creature using as little tape as you can and still have it all stay 
together. Add plenty of details. Use yarn and wrap your creature round and round, in and out until 
you can not see any paper or tape. Tuck your yarn ends under other strands so it does not come 
unraveled. Add more details like eyes, a tongue, clothing or accessories with another texture or 
color of yarn or with fabric pieces and glue.
Pattern & Design: Papel Picado for Cinco de Mayo, or Relief Printing...Inspired by Indian Textiles,  
Create printing stamps using cardboard, glue, yarn paint & paper (part 1 and part 2)
Dreamtime Paintings: Remember to only paint your dreams and use colors, patterns and creatures
that symbolize events, places, people, etc. important to you.
Design and Build a Sculpture with inspiration from Martin Puryear and Ann Weber. Draw your 
sculpture thinking of the negative or open spaces as well as the positive ones, then cut many strips 
of cardboard. Gently rub your thumb or the side of a pencil along the wide side of the cardboard to 
slightly bend the cardboard. Weave strips in and out of each other and/or layer them. Attach your 
pieces with glue and tape, a stapler, or use a pencil to poke holes in the wider strips and attach 
with small metal brads. (You can also use construction paper if you don't have cardboard on hand. 
Leave your finished sculpture unpainted, or add your favorite color(s).
Zamorano Fine Arts Academy Student Work
Project Units:
Lines, Shapes and Forms
Inventive Drawing with Paint Dots and Dashes - Inspiration: Brian Pinkney, 
Cape Dorset Printmakers
Geometric Line and Shape Designs - Inspiration: Esther Mahlangu
Organic Line and Shape Animals - Inspiration: Norval Morrisseau
Strings and Things Inspiration: Nick Cave, Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam, 
Janet Echelman, Johanna Vasconcelos, Jim Hodges
Yarn and Paper Creatures Inspiration: Tjanpi Desert Weavers

Art Everywhere!
Earth Art - Inspiration: Bessie Harvie, Andy Goldsworthy, Patrick Dougherty, 
Susanna Bauer
Found Object Constructions - Inspiration: Noah Williams, James Hampton, 
El Anatsui, Lonnie Holly
Junk Mail Collage - Inspiration: Romare Bearden, Barbara Coyle Holt
2nd Grade…………………………………………………………………….......…...
Koinobori and other Kites
Abstract Watercolor Flowers - O'Keeffe
Life-size Portraits - traced bodies in motion
Fairy Houses and Gnome Homes: Build one from scratch ...boxes ....cones ......springs ... 
   cylinders...etc., and cover with glue and natural plant materials!
Rainforest Collage - Rousseu and Batik Artists/Designers
3D Ocean Creatures with Clay or Dough (wheat or rice)
Printmaking: Monotypes and Ghost Prints - Cape Dorset Printmakers
Realistic Self Portraits with Backgrounds Focused on Color Theory
Design a Bird: Once you've learned all the parts birds, create a drawing of a new species 
using pencils, pens and crayons on any color paper. Make sure to add all the details and
all the parts! 
Tile Works: Check out Iznik tiles from Turkey, Zellige from Spain and Morroco, Talavera 
     Azulejos from Mexico, Delftware from the Netherlands, Tesserae floors of Venice, and 
     Persian tiles from Iran before creating your own set of tiles or a mosaic image. Start by 
     doing a series of drawings for a set of tiles or a mosic. Think about repeated colors, 
     shapes and lines as you draw. When you have your final sketches, begin making your 
     "tiles". For the base, you can glue layers of papers together, cover coasters from the 
     thrift store, use cardboard or lids from the recycle bin, or any other firm, flat surface.  
     Once you have your base(s) completed and smooth, paint or collage your designs and 
     patterns on each. Put a coating of gel medium or Modge Podge over your dry, finished 
     work and make sure the bottoms of your tiles have a smooth or soft surface.

3rd Grade…………………………………….………………………………......…….
Tin Punch Lanterns
Greybeard Faces
Woven Bookmarks/Bracelets 
Calligraphy and Illuminated Manuscripts
Textured Clay Pots - Algonquian, Cherokee - also review traditional tattoo images for pattern ideas.
Spirit Animals: Crest Poles, Masks, Paintings - Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Iroquois
Realistic Still Life - Dramatic lighting/shading with solar, flash and other lights.
Monochromatic Tempera Paint and Charcoal Landscapes
Ink Dot Inspirations: Wearing a smock and working outside or on a surface covered in newspapers,
draw, drop or lightly splash permanent ink marks on sheets of paper and let them dry. Turn your
paper in different directions and look at the spots you made. What image can you make by
connecting some of the dots in pencil? Use a permanent pen to outline your completed sketch and
use watercolors, tempera paint, or watercolor markers and then a wet brush to add color. I think of
works by Jean Dubuffet and Ralph Steadman when I make my ink splash art.
Puppets and Robot Sculptures...with a purpose!
Decide what you'd like your sculpture to be able to do and build a 3D puppet or robot with one or
more moving parts. This puppet can talk and sing as you move it's jaw and mouth. Two boxes 
with open ends made from card stock are hinged together and taped to the head. The head has a 
half cylinder on the back that attaches to the base cylinder. Glue and tissue paper were used for 
the color. (Tissue paper dyes may bleed onto fabric and skin when wet, so beware! Cover your 
work space with scrap paper and wear a smock or old clothes to avoid an unwanted mess.) 
Project Units:
Story Central
Inspiration: Christopher Myers, Jerry Pinkney, Brian Pinkney, Faith Ringgold, 
Shane Evans, Donald Crews, Sally Wern Comport and Kadir Nelson
Accordion Books
Alliteration Books
Paper Story Quilts
Pop-up Books 

4th Grade………………………………………………………………….......……….
Portraits with a Twist: Take a famous portrait and turn it into someone living today. Keep the 
person's position, but change the clothes, accessories, tools, etc. - Kehinde Wiley
Challenge Drawing and Sculpting: Create a line drawings of faces or entire creatures or objects 
without picking up your pencil. Once you have your favorite, use 3-4 feet of thin aluminum wire 
(1/16th inch or gauge 16-22), and a pair of small pliers (needle nose or jewelers pliers preferably) 
and turn your drawing into a line sculpture. - Alexander Calder, Paul Klee
Fantasy or Movement Scratchboard 
Surreal Drawing/Painting
Non-Objective Self-Portrait
Collagraph Printing
Story Quilts - Harriet Powers, Fon Applique Cloth, Faith Ringgold, Tar Beach, Stitching Stars
Create a paper or fabric panel or group of panels depicting stories from your life.

  Create a hollow clay vessel with animated face and top stopper, a sculpted cap, or an incised 
Using clay or another material such as soapstone, soap, balsa wood, build or carve a figure.
Folktales, Culture & Migration: Sewn Soft Sculpture/Pariscraft or Papier Mache Masks

From what continent or region are people in your family descended? What stories and tales 
come from that place? What animals are in those tales? Pick animals/creatures from those 
tales and draw your own character based on those creatures. Try to draw it in profile too. Then, 
using scrap paper and tape, build its head. Make the features larger than you think they should 
be because they'll get smaller later when you cover them with the Pariscraft gauze embedded 
with plaster OR torn newspaper pieces and watered down glue, wheat or rice paste. Any of these 
will work. Once your mask/sculpture is sturdy but not encased in tape, for a mask, cover the front 
- leaving eye holes if you want to wear it, or cover the entire thing if you want a full sculpture. 
     PREP: Cover your work surface with scrap paper, get a bucket of water for the  
     Pariscraft or mix a bucket of glue/paste for papier mache. 
     Cut the Pariscraft rolls into 3"-10" pieces - THIS IS DUSTY so do outside if you can.   
     Rip loads of newspaper strips for papier mache. 
For Pariscraft, dunk the material in a water bucket use 2-3 layers all at once, and prop up any 
sagging parts like horns or jaws with plastic containers. The plaster will dry very quickly, so 
position your parts the way you want them to look when dry. With papier mache, pay attention to 
how many layers you've put on in each section. I suggest addng 2-3 moist, but not drippy layers, 
let dry for 24 hours, add 2 more, repeat for 5-8 layers total. Let your piece dry for a couple of 
days at least, then paint the Pariscraft with acrylic paint or add color to the papier mache with a 
layer of colored papers or any paint you have. Feathers, yarn and other materials can be glued 
on once the paint is dry, and details can also be added with Sharpie.
Illustrate a Moment: from Tuck Everlasting with watercolors on watercolor paper, from Number the 
Stars in pencil, white and black charcoal and eraser  
Asian Vertical Landscape Painting with Bamboo Brushes

Middle School……………………………………………………………….....……..
 ...with inspiration from and a huge shout out to Teresa Coleman!  
Portraits in Proportion: Create a character with accurate/realistic proportions. Add garments/
costumes, choose a color scheme, and try your hand at realistic skin tones using blended 
watercolor, acrylic, or colored pencil.
Landscape using 1 point Perspective 
3D Wire Sculpting: Create a freestanding head or bust. You'll need pliers and wire cutter, and a 
sketch or image will help. Be very careful of sharp wire ends near your face, and be sure to twist 
the ends of your wires so that no sharp ends stick out. 3D wire works look great suspended in 
the air or displayed on bases.
Build and Paint a Box Sculpture: Creature, Food, Person, Object
Scratchboard Drawings : Texture and Realism  - Chooses subject matter you find compelling for a 
     realistic composition. (You can also use graphite transfer paper or lightly sketch your 
            drawing with pencil on the board. or you can make your own.)
Surreal Drawing/Painting
Non-Objective Self-Portrait
Portrait of a Change Maker: Pick a three fields (medicine, education, mathematics,ecology, 
     astrophysics, visual art, renewable energy, history, music, etc.) Research leading figures 
     in the fields from any time period. Choose your favorite innovator. Using real or abstract 
     color, make a portrait (drawing, painting, and/or collage) of an individual whose  
     contribution to the world has improved life for everyone.
Collagraph Printing 
Abstract Sculpture: Create a functional mobile or piece of kinetic art from thrift store and/or
recycled/unused household items.
Metamorphosis Drawing
Observational Drawings
Repetitive Shape/Pattern Drawings
Bas Relief Cardboard Masks: With abstract color, More neutral tones
Try a Curved-Crease Sculpture
Aluminum Repoussé: with color, or monochromatic
Lesson Units:
Collage Portraiture - Deborah Roberts and Firelei Báez
Portraits with Purpose, Prose and Pattern - Roberto Lugo and Lalla Essaydi
Recreating You: Photographic Self-Portraiture - Zanele Muholi, Gordon Stettinius and 
Cindy Sherman
Beyond Paper: Portraits on Varied Media - Ashley A. Jones, Whitfield Lovell, Titus Kaphar, 
Ruth Miller and Faith Ringgold

Sewing and Mixed Media Explorations
Story Squares and Quilts Plus Appliqué and Embroidery: Faith Ringgold, Gee's Bend 
Quilters, Barbara d'Antuono, Rosie Lee Tompkins, Christopher Myers, Harriet Powers, 
and Fon Appliqués
Threading Paper Visions: Wura-Natasha Ogunji
Strings and Things - Nick Cave, Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam, Janet Echelman, 
Johanna Vasconcelos, and Jim Hodges

High School........................................................................................................
PLEASE BE ADVISED - The list below includes artists whose works deal with mature content.

A few stellar artists and groups to keep in mind:
Art of Indiginous Peoples: Aboriginal Dreamtime painters 
                                              Cape Dorset Artists
                                              American Indian carvers, bead/textile artists, ceramicists,  
                                                   painters, printmakers, glass and assemblage artists
                                              Past and present African, Asian, Oceanic, Indonesian, 
                                                   Middle Eastern, Nordic, Arctic, and Scandanavian   
                                                   indiginous artists and artisans
                                              Cave and Petroglyph/Pictograph painters
Outsider and Folk Artists

Contemporary Artists/Collectives
Gee's Bend Quiltmakers      Grada Kilomba       Cristina Córdova Thaddeus Mosley
Shinichi Sawada                  Lee Bontecou Sally Mann               Rozeal
Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.    Alison Saar              Martin Creed Maya Lin
Cannupa Hanska Luger Bill Viola                 Kara Walker Binh Pho
Roxanne Swentzell             Imran Qureshi        Abelardo Morell Preston Singletary
Lucas Samaras Leonardo Drew      Janet Echelman     Nastassja Swift
Olafur Eliasson      Nick Cave Wangetchi Mutu     Tavares Strachan   
Naata Nungurrayi                Martin Purear          Carrie Mae Weems Zanele Muholi
Adam Pendleton                   Aggie Zed     Anish Kapoor          Jaume Plensa
Bohyun Yoon        Anselm Kiefer Janet Fish         Roni Horn
Cory Pemberton Paul Rucker Jess T. Dugan Sayaka Suzuki
Julie Mehretu Ai WeiWei   Andy Goldsworthy Hank Willis Thomas
Cindy Sherman                 Firelei Baez Deborah Roberts         Tara Donovan
Johanna Unzueta      Swoon William Kentridge Oscar Muñoz
Lino Tagliapietra              Kehinde Wiley Amy Sherald              Virgil Ortiz
Ursula von Rydingsvard    Ralph Steadman    Sonya Clark                Jennifer Cox      
Vivian Chiu A. BlairClemo Jun Kanenko Hillary Waters Fayle
G Ravinder Reddy             Albert Paley Willie Cole Berkeley Breathed
Howardena Pindell Tom Chambers Joana Vasconcelos    David Hockney
Liz Johnson Artur Roberto Lugo Lalla A. Essaydi Hernan Vargas
Isaac Julien Fred Wilson Helen Lee Mickalene Thomas
Faith Ringgold Billie Zangewa Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam 
Yinka Shonebare Simone Leigh Rob Gibbs Steve Locke
Odd Nerdrum Ibrahim Mahama Marta Minujin Belkis Ayón
Natasha Bowdoin Damien Davis Mia Pearlman Nancy Blum
Trenton Doyle Hancock Glenn Ligon Esther Mahlangu Julie Heffernan
Wura-Natasha Ogunji   El Anatsui Barbara d'Antuono Sandford Biggers
Jöel Andrianomearisoa Kendell Geers Jim Hodges Humaira Abid  
Viola Burley Leak Ana Sacerdote Reem Bassous Alberto Quintanilla  
Additional Creatives to Consider
Camille Billops Dawn Clements Wendell Castle Carlos Cruz-Diez
Norval Morrisseau Jack Whitten David Goldblatt Kenojuak Ashevak 
Lois Mailou Jones Feliza Bursztyn Lygia Clark Francis Picabia
Alexander Calder             Ruth Asawa           Gordon Parks     Jiří Harcuba
Romare Bearden                Frida Kahlo            Diego Rivera            Marisol 
Georgia O'Keeffe            Arthur Rackham         Alma Thomas          Naum Gabo
Kamoinge Workshop Louis Draper Basquiat Robert Mapplethorpe
Niki de Saint Phalle        Louise Nevelson        Duane Hanson         George Segal
Louise Bourgeois            Elizabeth Catlett        Ben Shahn               Jackson Pollack
Maria Montoya Martinez Tarsila do Amaral Charles White Ellen Neel
Helen Frankenthaler       Dorothea Lange         Henry Moore         Mark Rothko
William H. Johnson        Francis Bacon           Jacob Lawrence      Alice Neel 
Christo & Jeanne-Claude   Käthe Kollwitz           Andrew Wyeth         Picasso 
Barbara Hepworth             Modigliani          Giacometti               Henri Matisse
Frank Lloyd Wright           René Magritte             Egon Schiele           Joan Miró
Maria Martinez                 Maurice Marinot       Gustav Klimt            Victor Horta
Marta Magdalena Abakanowicz-Kosmowska   Thornton Dial Huang Yong Ping
Horace Pippin Aaron Douglas Lawren Harris Alphonse Mucha
Roycrofters/Elbert Hubbard       Suzanne Valadon      Rossetti                Rodin 
Moravian Pottery/Tile Works      Camille Claudel         Édouard Manet    May Morris
John Singer Sargent               Paul Gauguin            Thomas Eakins    Cézanne
Vincent Van Gogh                        Toulous Lautrec     William Morris      Edgar Degas
Mary Elizabeth Tillinghast          John LaFarge       Macintosh             L.C.Tiffany
Thomas Hart Benton                  J.A.M. Whistler          Edmonia Lewis     Derain  
Rachel Ruysch                             Vermeer             de La Tour               Caravaggio
Hubert van Eyck               Jan van Eyck       Bellini             
Michaelangelo            Bernini         DaVinci
Artemisia Gentileschi       van der Weyden       Bosch         
Lucia Anguissola            Campin                Ghirlandaio
Pieter Bruegel - Elder & Younger       Parmigianino           Dürer                
Lucas Cranach - Elder & Younger      Brunelleschi            Botticelli       
Limbourg Brothers              Memling        Holbein


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