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Lesson 3: Making careful choices


This lesson introduces learners to a range of shape tools, allowing them to create a painting in the style of an artist.

Learning objectives

To make careful choices when painting a digital picture

I can choose appropriate shapes

I can make appropriate colour choices

I can create a picture in the style of an artist

Key vocabulary

Henri Matisse, shape tool, fill tool


Subject knowledge:

You need to be familiar with the style of Henri Matisse (or another appropriate artist), and with the shape, fill, and undo tools in the digital painting program you’ve chosen.


You will need:

A painting program (online or offline)

Slides (

Challenge sheet ( needs to be printed

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 modelled by the teacher to create their own digital 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 lesson they are going to be learning how to use the shape 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 lesson.


Show the learners the picture of Henri Matisse, and tell them that he was an artist who was born in 1869 and died in 1954. Tell the learners that in his later years when he became ill, Matisse created collages made from cut-up pieces of paper.

Activity 1

(Slides 5–9)


10 mins

Ask learners to discuss how they think Matisse made the image (collage).


Encourage them to use their imagination to answer the questions on slide 5.


Tell the learners that Matisse had been drawing lots of images of snails before creating this piece of art. Demonstrate the spiral made by the shapes in the picture.


Discuss the questions on slide 7. Encourage the learners to spot familiar shapes and understand that the colours are all bright. Lead the learners to think about how they could create this picture using their devices.


Encourage the learners to think about each of the tools shown on slide 8 and whether they would be good for creating their own ‘Snail’ painting on their devices:

Paintbrush/pencil? (They don’t need freehand lines; some learners may choose to use this but encourage them to use shapes at this point)

Eraser? (They don’t need to erase freehand lines at this point)

Paint pot? (Good for block filling shapes)

Spray can? (Not appropriate)

Undo tool? (Helpful if their shapes go wrong or they colour in a block the wrong colour).


Ask the learners what other tools they will need (shape tools).

Activity 2
(Slide 10–11)


25 mins

Ask the learners how they will do the task. Encourage them to describe the task, starting with a recap on how to open the painting program.

Model drawing a bright square to start the piece.

Demonstrate drawing a large white square inside (or multiple shapes) to