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Lesson 2: Using shapes and lines 


This lesson introduces learners to the line and shape tools and revisits the fill and undo tools used for digital painting. Learners create their own digital painting in the style of an artist. 

Learning objectives 

To use the shape tool and the line tool 

  • I can make marks with the square and line tools 

  • I can use the shape and line tools effectively 

  • I can use the shape and line tools to recreate the work of an artist 

Key vocabulary 

Piet Mondrian, primary colours, shape tools, line tool, fill tool, undo tool 


Subject knowledge: 

You will need to be familiar with the style of Piet Mondrian (or another appropriate artist); primary colours; and the line, shape, fill, and undo tools in the digital painting program you’ve chosen to use in this unit. 


You will need: 

Assessment opportunities 

  • Introduction: Provides an opportunity to examine learners’ prior knowledge and to determine their awareness of the tools used for digital painting 

  • Activity 1: Provides an opportunity to assess whether learners understand which tools would be appropriate for use in today’s lesson 

  • Activity 2: Allows learners the opportunity to use the tools you have modelled to create their own digital painting 

  • Plenary: Allows learners an opportunity to self-assess their own painting 

Outline plan 

Please note that the slide deck labels the activities in the top right-hand corner to help you navigate the lesson.  


*Timings are rough guides 


(Slides 2–4) 


5 mins 

Tell the learners that during this unit they are going to be learning how to use the shape and line tools to recreate the work of an artist. 


Share the learning objectives with the learners. Discuss the keywords that they will be using in this unit of work. 


Show the learners the painting by Piet Mondrian and tell them that he was an artist who was born in 1872 and died in 1944 at the age of 71. Tell the learners that he created abstract art, meaning art that has no subject and is made up of shapes, lines, and colours. 

Activity 1 

(Slides 5–8) 


10 mins 

The learners will investigate what shapes and colours they can see in the painting by Piet Mondrian and discuss how they think the picture has been made. (You may wish to display further images around the room or print of examples for individual learners — see the lesson resources) 


Discuss that to create a Mondrian-style picture in a painting program, an initial square is drawn and then divided into smaller shapes using straight lines. 


Encourage the learners to think about which tools would be best to recreate the painting shown. Ask learners about how useful the tools shown on slide 6 would be: 

  • Paintbrush? (We don’t need freehand lines) 

  • Pencil? (We don’t need freehand lines) 

  • Eraser? (We don’t need to rub out freehand lines) 

  • Paint pot? (Good for block filling shapes) 

  • Spray can? (Not appropriate) 

  • Undo tool? (Helpful if our squares/lines go wrong or we colour in a block the wrong colour) 

Ask the learners what other tools they will need (square and line tools). 


Discuss that in this painting, Mondrian used primary colours: red, yellow, and blue. Primary colours cannot be made from mixing colours together, but they can be mixed together to make other colours. 

Activity 2[Text Wrapping Break](Slides 9–10) 


20 mins 

Share the steps to success (slide 9) with the learners. 


  • Model opening the painting program and get the learners to guide you through the task of creating a piece of Mondrian-inspired art based on the steps to success. 

  • Model the use of the shape and line tools (trying to get lines as straight as possible). 

  • Also make some mistakes and model the use of the undo tool. 

  • Finally ask the learners to remind you about the primary colours that can be used, and colour some shapes using the fill tool. 


Allow the learners time to create their own digital paintings.  


Scaffolding opportunity: Some learners may wish to use the self-assessment sheet as a guide to support them while they make their own digital paintings. 


Some learners may need support with saving their image. Allow time to recap saving with the group at an appropriate time during the lesson. 


Explorer task: Some learners may also complete the challenge (see resources): Can you make a picture in the style of Mondrian starting with a different shape? Distribute the challenge sheets when learners have completed their initial activity. 


(Slide 11–12) 


10 mins 

Learners share their work with each other or the whole group. 


Review the steps to success and model the use of the self-assessment sheet provided. 


Allow learners time to assess their own digital paintings. 


(Slides 13–14) 


5 mins 

Review the success criteria for the lesson with the learners. 


Review the ‘this lesson’ and ‘next time’ slides.