Exploring Painting Styles

Lesson Plan, Grades 9-12, Art, Art History, Painting


Lesson Plan and Artwork by Ed Leary

This lesson plan links the modern Avant-Garde influence of style to the expressive creativity of the art student through sea life subject matter. The style of painting is an ever changing visual narrative. This lesson plan will give students the opportunity to explore and translate a painting style on a pre-printed Wyland Canvas.


  • The pre-cut shapes, serve as a uniform "spring board" from which to replicate and expand an artist's style and the students expression of that style.
  • Students will investigate the manner and CONTENT of a specific painting style and the artist most known for expression of that style. For example, Surrealism: Salvador Dali, Cubism: Pablo Picasso, Impressionism: Claude Monet, Pop Art: Andy Warhol, etc.
  • Students will practice the technique and interpret those qualities, translating them on a pre-cut shape.

Supplies Needed

Supply #1 1413339 Fredrix® Wyland Reef Dolphins Pattern Canvas Set, 11" x 14" (Kit includes 4 sets)
Supply #2 1413340 Fredrix® Wyland Reef Sea Turtle Pattern Canvas Set, 11" x 14" (Kit includes 4 sets)
Supply #3 1413341 Fredrix® Wyland Reef Sharks Pattern Canvas Set, 11" x 14" (Kit includes 4 sets)
Supply #4 1471233 Royal and Langnickel® Artist Acrylic Paint Set, 120 ml, Assorted Colors, Set of 12
Supply #5 411618 Sax® Phoenix Golden Nylon Long Handle Paint Brush Set, Assorted Sizes, Set of 4 (Kit includes 3 sets)
Supply #6 410603 Royal® Golden Taklon Ultra Short Brush Set, Assorted Sizes, Set of 10 (Kit includes 3 sets)
*Here are the supplies needed for this lesson plan for reference. Find a convenient carousel of shoppable products for this lesson below.


CONTENT Standard #1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
CONTENT Standard #2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
CONTENT Standard #4: Select, analyze and interpret artistic work for presentation.
CONTENT Standard #6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
CONTENT Standard #7: Perceive and analyze artistic work.
CONTENT Standard #8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
CONTENT Standard #9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.



After researching the style and artist technique which serves as a focus for this lesson plan, practice the style, technique and materials on a separate canvas to become accustomed to the combinations and processes.


As the arts are inherently experimental and the inspiration of the style may lead to new directions, pay attention to the over-arching goal of this lesson plan activity.


Select one or more of the pre-cut shapes; apply the interplay of color, and other elements to achieve the connection between the artist style and your individualistic interpretation.


Continue to create, build and define within the style a complete work.


When completed have students present their completed work and talk about the artist and style they chose to interpret.