Serving Art Educators
and Students Since 1994
Submitted by: Hilary Chandler,
freelancer and homeschool art teacher
Title of Lesson: Abstract Drawing a la Sol Lewitt & Cy Twombly
Grade level / Age: 7th grade and Up
Goals / Objectives:
Distinguishes abstract mark-making and composition.
Introduces students to experiential understanding of conceptual art makers such as Sol Lewitt, and gestural mark making artists such as Cy Twombly.
Uses marks, shape and line types in an open visual field.
Increase student listening and challenges assumptive thinking.
Allows for creative choice of visual elements within a structured format.
Organic creation of composition and design
Collective sharing at the conclusion reveals individual approaches and preferences.
Collectively can be used to create a mural pathway when all of the drawings are linked together.
Frees up the expert drawers and liberates the "I cant draw" mentality.
Individual designs can be used in a group mural project.
Taking a drawing into a painting.
Engage students in and demonstrate first the visual elements of major shapes(circle, square,oval,triangle), and vocabulary of line (straight, curved, dotted, dashed, broken, variegated, and line width(fat to skinny).
Mark maker type artists such as Cy Twombly, Tiepes and conceptual artist Sol Lewitt can be shown and explained or not. Explain that no images or symbols are to be made intentionally or as a solution- as this is to be an abstract drawing.
Distribute paper and markers or ask students to produce them from their supplies. Explain that they will be receiving a series of directions, and to leave the materials until then.
Explain that they are simply to follow the direction as they understand it. Often students will ask for MORE direction or question the direction- simply tell them to listen and repeat the direction as you have written it.
Show the paper and its four sides, corners,and the middle, edges etc of the visual field- this helps to orient the student.
Use a list of simple directions without using the word "draw"- you have made in advance. Such as:
1. Connect two different sides of the page with a line of your choice.
2. Place an X of any size somewhere NOT in the middle.
3. Place 100 dots of any size onto the surface.
4. Add a square far away from your X.
5. Make three similar shapes in different sizes
6. Turn your paper 90 degrees. Make 50 dash type marks,some of which which cross other lines.
7. Use a curvy line, and connect two things you have made.
8. Turn your paper 90 degrees. Erase part of something with your white out.
9. Exchange papers SILENTLY with a neighbor. Take a moment to look at the drawing.
10.On the drawing you have received, make a careful and delicate change(addition or erasure) to the drawing.
11. Return the drawing to its first maker.
This painting was influenced by Kandinsky. Click on the image for full size.
Look at the class work together. Discuss choices, and experiences.
Have groups of students ( 3 or 4) work on linking their works together through the line that connects the sides into a satisfying composition. tack it up on the wall.
Look at the work together.
At this point you can take this in several directions: photograph and Photoshop the drawing murals. Take it apart and have the students work with color painting of the drawing. Make another one and use a brush with single color, etc.
Use of and understanding visual elements of drawing: shape , line, size, composition, repetition, rhythm.
Cy Twombly: Fifty Years of Works on Paper - Cy Twombly is undoubtedly the most sensitive mind among the greats of contemporary art. His work finds its most personal expression in the small, intimately sized drawings which he has from the very outset produced by way of accompaniment to his paintings.
Cy Twombly: A Monograph - The pictorial creations by American artist Cy Twombly have represented, for more than 50 years, a sort of enigma that reinforces the mythic status of the artist. This book, takes into consideration Twombly's immense and complex body of work from the 1950s up through his current works, offers a thematic and chronological interpretation of his paintings, drawings, sculptures, and collages.
Sol LeWitt: 100 Views - Published to accompany MASS MoCA's landmark installation of LeWitt's innovative wall drawings, this book celebrates the artist and his illustrious 50-year career.
Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawings - Wall Drawings tracks the creation of one recent work, beginning with the plan, so spare that it looks as though it might have arrived at the gallery by fax, and continuing through to a schematic drawing on the wall, then figures on stepladders drawing intently, their faces clear but their pencils blurred. Close-ups of their scribbles and images of the completed work are followed by a picture of the triumphant cast, a curtain call.