Lesson 8: Adding Details

Lesson Overview

This is the last studio lesson in the Empathy Pawject. In this lesson students will add the final details to their work.

Student Working On Dog Portrait Painting

Lesson Materials

  1. a palette of paint for each student including neutral, warm and cool colours. I included some metallic paints here too.
  2. painting tools (as mentioned in the previous lessons, I give the students three brushes to work with: a large square shader, a medium square shader, and a tiny liner brush for details)
  3. a bucket of water
  4. dog profiles
  5. portraits in progress
  6. sketchbooks or paper & a pencil - in case students wish to write or sketch out ideas

Go to PDF for printable file

Curriculum outcomes:

(from the Alberta Education Program of Studies for Grade 4 Art)

  • explore painting media (AC: 10iii b) (CHC 10h)
  • focal point: identify (AC: 3d & e, 4f, 7a & c)
  • focal point: create and add supporting details (AC: 7a & c)
  • value (Element of Art): use to create illusion of space (AC: 4e, 6c)
  • space (Element of Art): create shapes that suggest foreground, midground, background (AC: 4e)

Learning Activity
Painting Highlights and Shadows:
In this lesson, the students will add details to their paintings. Start by asking the students to look at the light source in their painting: is it left, right, or in the center? Then ask them to think about where a highlight may fall on their dog’s eyes, nose, or fur based on where the light source is. Using a sample portrait and a liner brush, demonstrate short thin marks in the fur and small dots for the reflection in the eyes.
Once they have completed all of the mark-making to create highlights in their dog’s portrait, they will follow a similar process with darker colours to create the lowlights or shadows.

After students have completed the details on their dog’s fur and features, ask them to look at the background of their portrait and complete any unfinished spots. They can add details to items they may want to stand out more. For example, adding their dog’s name to a water bowl they painted.

Go to PDF for printable file

End of Class Activity

At the end of this class have your students check their work to make sure they are happy with all of the details and then the final detail goes on: their signature. They are true artists and they need to sign their work and take credit for this amazing art they have created!

*A note about using Social Media to display art

If you choose to use a social media platform to post your student’s work, you need to check with your school's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy policy. To protect my student’s identity, I do not post any names or images with identifying features. Students only sign their work once the painting is complete and I have already taken a photo of it for online use. Any photos of the children working are only of their hands and artwork.