Art History Research PaintingObjectives:
To create a painting based on the style of an artist from a particular art period in history. Research a modern artist and present critique of one major work.

Acrylic, polymer medium, canvas/stretcher strips (or canvas board), a small reproduction of the artist's painting. (can use gessoed corrugated cardboard). Handout for research requirements. Fine Art reproductions (about 5" x 7" to 8" x 10")


Collect a number of reproductions from magazines, post cards and calendar prints. Prepare a list of artists for students to research based on your collection - or have students find image on line (or scan in from book)

  1. Present a PowerPoint overview of the modern art styles students will be focusing on - just a brief introduction as students will go more in depth. Alternate: Show video of modern art styles.
  2. Talk about copyright issues with this lesson. Students are appropriating an image. Discuss Fair Use and whether or not this lesson falls under Fair Use guidelines. (Students could look up Fair Use guidelines - then give their responses based on what they read).

  1. Students select an artist for study - find an image that appeals to them. They will use the entire image or a cropped version.
  2. With acrylic polymer medium, paste the artist's reproduction in the center of the canvas to be painted on.
  3. Place tracing paper on top of the entire canvas and have students sketch out a composition. Think about similarities and differences, large and small, near and far.
  4. When the students are pleased with their tracing sketch, have them transfer the drawing to the canvas.
  5. Have the students paint in the style of the artist's work while making a relation to their own composition. Title works "After (name of artist)"
  6. Students present their research to the class (students may choose to do a poster, PowerPoint or written report). Class critique of finished work.

  1. Is the composition unified?
  2. Did students relate their composition to the artist's work?
  3. Did the students paint in the technique and style of the artist they chose to copy?
  4. Did the students create a good work of art utilizing the elements of art and principles of design?

Credits and Attributions

Lesson source: Incredible Art Department sponsored by Princeton Online: Art History Research Painting submitted by: Gloria Rabinowitz, North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, Great Neck, NY

Wiki Logo: Original image: 'What's that big Yellow ball in the Sky???'
by: Keven Law