Lesson Plan

Lesson 1: Composition Basics

Adoration of the Magi by Botticelli, 1475.
Photo caption

Adoration of the Magi by Botticelli, 1475.

In this first lesson of the curriculum unit Composition in Painting: Everything in Its Right Place, students will begin by learning the definition of composition in the visual arts and some of its most basic components.

Guiding Questions

What is composition in the visual arts, and how does contribute to the success of an art work?

How do the artist's compositional choices convey feeling, tone, or information to the viewer, and how do these elements guide the viewer's eye around the canvas?

Learning Objectives

Define composition in the visual arts.

Identify elements of the composition in a number of art works.

Diagram and write an explanation of the compositional structure and focal point of a painting.

Explain how the artist's compositional choices work to guide the viewer's eye to important components of the image.

Discuss ways in which the compositional structure of a painting affects the tone of the painting, and communicates information or emotional content to the viewer.