Abstract and
Non-Objective Collage
Using AP- and CL-Sealed Art Materials

Grade Level(s)
Activity time: Five 80-minute class period
  • Rubber Cement
  • Modge Podge
  • Palette Knives
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Gelli printing plates
  • Brayer
  • Xacto Knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Drawing or Printing paper
  • Stencils
  • Canvas
  • Paint Brushes
  • Bristol Board Paper
Download Lesson Plan

Stage 1 – Desired Results

Established Goal(s)/Content Standard(s):

Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
VA:Cr1.1.Ia HS Proficient
  • Use multiple approaches to begin creative endeavors.
Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work
  • Engage in making a work of art or design without having a preconceived plan.
Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work VA:Re9.1.Ia
HS Proficient
  • Establish relevant criteria in order to evaluate a work of art or collection of works.
Transfer Goal(s):
  • That a variety of criteria can be established to evaluate work.
  • Develop an independent artistic vision.
Students will understand that:
  • Artists experiment with media and art-making approaches.
  • Abstract and non-objective art works seem similar but have different inspiration and intent. People evaluate art based on various criteria.
Essential Question(s):
  • What can we learn from our responses to art?
  • Why might an artist choose an abstract or non-objective approach to their work?
  • How do artists and designers learn from trial and error?
  • How does one determine criteria to evaluate a work of art?
Student Objectives (outcomes):
Students will be able to:
  • Explore a variety of media
  • Create a non-objective piece of art
  • Create an abstract piece of art
  • Combine efforts from two approaches into one unified artwork

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence

Performance Task(s):
  • Create a non-objective painting using several different techniques and media.
  • Create monoprints with printmaking, paint an abstract background.
  • Assemble both works into a collage.
Other Evidence:
  • Critical analysis
  • Peer critique
  • Self-reflection and assessment
  • Class critique
  • Teacher generated worksheet(s)

Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Learning Activities:
  • 1. Access prior knowledge of critical analysis via questioning. Review as necessary. See article and handoutAnalyze contemporary artists with the masters of abstract art to compare and contrast the movement of abstraction.
  • 2. Discuss the difference between abstract art vs. non-objective art. (SeeFind new modern artists working in abstraction and non-objective art. Compare abstract vs non-objective sorting art activity. Divide students into groups of four. Pass out art reproductions and ask students to work together to sort into abstract works and non-objective works while discussing the evidence and rationale for their choices.
  • 3. Brainstorm and plan with a process thinking worksheet. What materials will be used? What do you want people to feel and see when they look at your abstract piece? Choose a color palette and stick with it through gelli printing and canvas painting.
  • 4. Make non-objective stencils: Using xacto knives create stencils with bristol board. These will be used for stenciling on gelli prints.
  • 5. Experiment with different media on gelli printing plates. Students will create several unified monoprint pieces using a variety of materials. Paint in layers, add stencils, pull several prints from one design, use paper over and over to create more layers. Students can use found objects that will print on the printing plates.
  • Use stencils
  • Paint in layers
  • Leave stencils down
  • Remove Stencils
  • Scrape into existing paint
  • Make multiples
  • 6. Create an abstract background painting.
  • Dry brush
  • Mixing paint
  • Shape fill in
  • Open shape
  • Straight lines
  • Diagonals
  • Sponging
  • For every 2 marks erase one
  • Add in a medium glaze to create texture
  • Water down paint
  • Splatter paint
  • Drip paint
  • Use your non dominant hand
  • Use textures or stencils
  • Paint pens
  • Scrapper tools or palette knives
  • 7: Rip and cut gelli prints to develop and assemble several designs on the canvas. Before adhering, assign students a partner to critique each other’s compositions using the TAG method: Tell them something that is successful. Ask a question. Give a suggestion. Allow time for reflection and revisions.
  • 8: The art can be finished by adding details with pens or more detailed paint designs.
  • 10: Provide students time for self-reflection and assessment.
Headshot of Kayla Koslow

About Kayla Koslow

Kayla Koslow is an art educator going into her tenth year of teaching. Originally from Harrisonburg, Virginia, Kayla recently relocated to Austin, TX to be closer to her family and nephews. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with a concentration in Art Education and Photography and a minor in Exceptional Education from James Madison University. Over the past five years, Kayla has taught at the high school level, but she loves teaching art to any grade. Kayla is also a professional photographer, and recently opened an art shop selling stickers and paper products.