Society is comprised of a myriad of opposing views and opinions. Individuals form
thoughts based on their perceptions and experiences. By exploring opposing perceptions
of a nondescript shape (handout: What
do you see?),
students will be open to exploring differing views of the same subject.
evaluating the many ways to view an object, students will work in a small group
to create a colorful, abstract watercolor design using watercolor paper and paint
or pigments. When the paper is dry it will be cut into several trading card-sized
rectangles. Each student will select a card and use a pen/marker to draw contour
outlines around the shapes they perceive as recognizable objects. After further
artistic development, the card will be mounted on a cardboard backing for support.
This ‘Artist Trading Card’ can be traded with other members in the
class, other classrooms in the building or district, or other classrooms outside
your state or country.
Students can research how other artists’ are
creating and trading Artist Trading Cards online.
Worksheets and an instruction
guide are included in this lesson.
Discuss the various ways that differences in opinions are carried
out in society. Sample topics may include the constructive and deconstructive
methods used by: Conservatives/Liberals, Gun control advocates and opponents,
Right to Life/Pro Choice, or Religious groups. Discuss the factors that determine
how people form their opinions.
Participate in small groups
(four or less) to complete the "What
do you see?" handout. Students should be seated around rectangular or
round tables to be able to view the handout from opposing viewpoints as it is
placed in the center of the table. Ask students to spend 2-3 minutes in silence
as they view the image and form ideas. After careful consideration students should
write down a sentence or two in the space provided on the handout to describe
the image(s) they perceive and share their perceptions with group members. These
handouts can be shared with the entire class to broaden the experience. Discuss
the unique perceptions made by students and why there is no correct or incorrect
way to interpret the shapes.
Research the internet
or printed materials to learn about the history and purpose of Artist Trading
Cards. You may also want to explore the history and purpose of Rorschach's ink
blot tests as they apply to psychology. (see below for web links)
Watercolor Method: (See
color instruction guide).
1.Use a wide
soft brush and/or a fine mist spray bottle to evenly saturate a sheet of watercolor
paper with water. Quickly add dabs and squiggles of various colors of watercolor
paint to the moistened paper. Leave approximately 10-20% of the surface white
as you place irregular blotches of color on the paper. Lift the paper and tilt
at various angles to allow the paint to move and meld with other colors without
becoming too muddy. Allow paper to dry overnight. Once dry, the paper can be placed
under a flat heavy object for a few hours to flatten if needed.
Cut paper into rectangles EXACTLY 2.5 by 3.5 inches. Each rectangle
will have a random section of colorful shapes which are similar to the irregular
(or "organic") shapes found in the "What Do You See?" handout.
After viewing the card from different perspectives, students should use a fine
tip pen or marker to draw a contour outline the shapes they recognize as familiar
objects. Additional features, such as eyes on a face or patterns on a dress, may
be incorporated to add interest and texture.
art mediums, such as glitter or crayon/colored pencil enhancement may be added
if desired. Incorporating a word or two in the form of handwritten text, letters
torn from a newspaper or rubber stamps may also add visual and emotional appeal.
Apply a full, even coat of glue to the backside of the watercolor paper and adhere
to a piece of cardboard or other sturdy backing. Decorate the backside of the
trading card with a simple design as well as factual information such as the title
of the artwork, name of the artist and date.
To protect the card surface, apply a coat of gloss or matte clear acrylic finish.
student may complete a Swap
Information worksheet if the card is to be traded with another student. By
exchanging the information on the handout students will be teaching and learning
about the Elements and Principles of Art.
Teachers may choose to collaborate
with classes across the hall, across the country or across the continents.
Learn about various techniques used in creating Artist Trading Cards by visiting
the websites below.
about the history of ATC’s
with other teachers to create a classroom to classroom swap.
are many online ATC groups. These two links are open to Yahoo members.
no official inkblot images are posted, this site gives lots of information about
the purpose and history of the test.
Book: Artist Trading Card Workshop
by Bernie Berlin