Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How Does Art Feel

Lynne Locke
Polk County Schools


Bristly and rough or soft and smooth, most anything we can feel can be portrayed in a work of art as a texture. Imaginary or real, texture can add excitement and interest to your creation.


The student writes for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes (for example, journals to reflect upon ideas, reports to describe scientific observations).

The student knows the effects and functions of using various organizational elements and principles of design when creating works of art.


- Crayons, watercolor markers, watercolor paints, and colored pencils ) for each student
- Colored construction paper (one sheet per student)
- White drawing paper (2 pieces per student – 5 by 8 inches each)
- Lined notebook paper (2 sheets per student)
- Pencils
- Glue or paste
- Scissors
- Assortment of natural materials: leaves, sand, twigs, tree bark, Spanish moss, fake fur in natural colors
- Pictures, photos, or other examples of art work using various textures (see Teacher Preparation #3)


1. Gather necessary supplies. Arrange materials to allow for students to choose easily.
2. Write the following definition on the chalkboard (or chart paper or overhead projector) so that the students will be able to copy it easily.

Texture – the quality of objects which we sense through touch. It can be a surface we can actually feel, or as a surface we can see and imagine how a surface might feel if we actually touched it. Texture can be shown as an imaginary illusion that helps us remember surfaces we have touched.

3. Gather the following items:
- some objects that have different textures so the students can feel them as they talk about them: a stuffed animal, a piece of tree bark, a leaf, sandpaper, etc.
- a few photographs that show trees or animals or stones or other textured surfaces.
- a few paintings, or illustrations that show where an artist has used media and artistic techniques to make a flat surface appear to have texture.
An assortment of natural materials: tree bark, leaves, sand, small stones, Spanish moss, etc. along with some small pieces of fake fur in natural colors.


Note: This lesson addresses only one element of design and could be used as part of a unit on the elements and principles of design. The final product of this lesson could be used as a page in an Elements and Principles of Design Journal.

1. If you have not done so previously, introduce the term “design.” Most students recognize the word as it relates to patterns they see every day on their clothing or other objects around them. Explain that every man-made object they see around them was once an idea in someone’s mind before that person took the time to make sketches and plans to produce their idea for sharing with others. The noun “design” can mean a pattern, but the verb “design” describes a process. There are 7 “elements of design” and 7 “principles of design.” The elements of design are: line, shape, direction, size, texture, color and value. The principles of design are balance, gradation, repetition, contrast, harmony, dominance and unity.
2. First Class Period: Explain that the “element of design” to be discussed today is “texture.”
3. Ask students to choose a sheet of construction paper (any color). Have the students write the title “Texture” artistically at the top of one side of the paper using crayons, markers, or colored pencils.
4. On a piece of notebook paper, students copy the definition of the word “Texture.” This definition should then be cut out and pasted or glued on the top half of the construction paper, under the title “Texture.”
5. Open a class discussion about texture. Encourage students to tell about how various objects in their environment feel when they touch them: a puppy, a lizard, a tree trunk, a satin pillow, etc. If possible, have some objects that have different textures on hand so students can touch them as they talk about how they feel.
6. Pass around some photographs showing various textures and talk about how the different textures look like they would feel a certain way even though the surface of the photograph is flat and smooth.
7. Then show some paintings or other illustrations that show different textures as an artist has portrayed them. Talk about what the students think the artist did and what he used to make the textures look so real.
8. Distribute practice paper, and allow students to choose crayons, colored pencils, or watercolor markers. Allow students to experiment with various media and techniques to produce different textures. Encourage combining media - try streaks of black crayon covered with brown watercolor marker to make wood grain texture.
9. Advise students that during the second class period. They will be producing two works of art, one using actual textured material and the other using the illusion of texture.
10. Second Class Period: Students will produce 2 small (5 by 8 inch) works of art that will be pasted or glued onto the back of the colored construction paper begun during the first class period.
11. On the first piece of paper, students will produce an illustration using actual textured materials. Allow students to choose from an assortment of natural materials: leaves, sand, twigs, tree bark, Spanish moss, fake fur in natural colors (they'll need scissors and glue also) to produce an illustration or scene. They may want to use crayons or markers to color the background before gluing on the natural materials to form trees, bushes, ground, or animals.
12. On the second piece of paper, students will use crayons, markers, and pencils to attempt to reproduce the first scene - but this time, the texture will be an illusion, purely imaginary!
13. Use glue or paste to attach the 2 small works of art to the back of the colored construction paper. There should be enough room left so students can label their designs Real Texture and Imaginary Texture.
14. The last part of this lesson is for students to write a brief (one-half page) statement telling what they learned during this lesson, how they used different materials to add texture to their work and how they used various techniques to convey the illusion of texture in their illustrations. This statement should be cut out and glued or pasted onto the bottom half of the construction paper, beneath the definition and the title.
15. This page can now be used as part of the student’s art portfolio or as a page in a “Elements of Design” art notebook.


The student will produce two original works of art illustrating the following: a scene using actual textured objects, and the same scene reproduced using imaginary or the illusion of texture. These illustrations will be accompanied by the definition of the term “texture” and a brief statement telling what they learned during this lesson, how they used different materials to add texture to their work and how they used various techniques to convey the illusion of texture in their illustrations. Student product will be assessed by the presence of the following items (point value may be assigned if desired or omitted for a more informal assessment): Title (0-15 points), Definition (0-15 point), Illustration using actual textured items (0-20 points), Illustration using the illusion of texture (0-20 points), Written Statement (0-30 points) mentioning the elements of the lesson, how various artistic techniques can be used to convey the illusion of texture to a work of art, and telling how the students plans to use the knowledge gained in the future.


This lesson could be modified for younger students by having the definition and title pre-printed so the students could just cut and paste. If the functional level of the student is very low, the written statement could be omitted and a verbal response from each student recorded by the teacher.

Older students or more advanced students could make drawings or paintings depicting more complex textures (realism) or depicting fantasy illusions (a cat made of glass or fur-covered dinnerware).

Any level students could produce larger works of art combining actual textured objects combined with art media used to produce the illusion of textures. Try to think of unusual everyday materials that could be used for artistic textures (try blue and green watercolor background covered with white glue and saran wrap to make -water-.)
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