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Lesson 4: Why did I choose that? 


This lesson increases learners’ understanding of the available paint tools and encourages them to select the best tools to create a digital painting in the style of Wassily Kandinsky. 

Learning objectives 

To explain why I chose the tools I used 

  • I know that different paint tools do different jobs 

  • I can choose appropriate paint tools and colours to recreate the work of an artist 

  • I can say which tools were helpful and why 

Key vocabulary 

Wassily Kandinsky, tools, feelings, colour, brush style 


Subject knowledge: 

  • You need to be familiar with the following painting tools in the digital painting program: paintbrush, pencil, fill, erase, undo, shape, and brush styles (e.g. spray can) if available 


You will need: 

Assessment opportunities 

  • Introduction: provides an opportunity to assess learners’ current understanding of the jobs of the different paint tools. 

  • Activity 1: provides an opportunity to assess the learners’ understanding of tools used so far in the unit and how these might help us to recreate the work of the chosen artist. 

  • Activity 2: provides learners with the opportunity to demonstrate their use of the paint tools and make choices regarding the best tools to use. Assessment: Allows learners time to reflect on the tools that they have used and how effective they were. 

  • Conclusion: Allows learners the opportunity to verbalise what the different tools in the paint package can do and how effective/helpful they were when creating their digital paintings. 

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 

Share the learning objectives with the learners.  

Discuss the keywords that they will be using in this lesson. 


Introduce the learners to Wassily Kandinsky. Tell them he was born in 1866 and died in 1944. Discuss that Kandinsky created abstract art. 

  • Ask the learners ‘Which other artists that create abstract art have we looked at in this unit that create abstract art?’ (Mondrian and Matisse). 

  • Remind the learners what abstract art is: art that has no subject and is made up of shapes, lines and colours. 

  • Tell the learners that Kandinsky was an ‘Expressionist’ — he wanted to use art to express his feelings and emotions. 

Starter activity 

(Slides 5–14) 


5 mins 



Tell the learners that there are lots of different tools in a painting program and that today, learners will be thinking about what they look like, what jobs they do, and which tools are best for the piece of art they are going to create. 


Go through the questions on slides 6-11 and assess what the learners think each of the tools will do. Read the question and the answers once, then ask learners to raise their hands for answer A, B, or C. 


Depending on the class’s experience/time, you might like to model each of the tools within the painting program to ‘prove’ whether the learners’ answers are right or not. (Some reference could be made to the differences in the way the icons look in the painting program the class is using to the ones shown in the slide deck. Discuss with the learners that although some of the tools might look slightly different compared to the slide deck and the different painting programs they use, some look very similarsimilarand do the same similar jobs.)  


Show learners that the next questions are different because they ask them to choose which tool would be appropriate to use for different tasks. 

  • Slide 12: The fill tool, which willcolourin the whole shape quickly without any gaps. 

  • Slide 13: The paintbrush, because Kandinsky’s circles aren’t perfect (as the ones you can create using the shape tool). The paintbrush is thicker than the pencil. which will look more like the artist’s work. 

  • Slide 14: The undo button; using the rubber would erase part of the red circle; using the fill tool would turn the shape anothercolour, but the shape would still be present. Tell the learners that if they make a mistake when they create their piece of work, they should stop straight away and use the undo tool to undo mistakes. 

Activity 1 

(Slides 15–17) 


10 mins 

Tell the learners that today they will be looking at ‘Squares with Concentric Circles’ created by Wassily Kandinsky. Ask the learners how they think Kandinsky made this picture (using watercolour paints, gouache paints, and crayons). Encourage the learners to use their imagination to answer the other questions on the slide.  


Ask the learners what shapes they can see in the painting (squares and circles). Discuss the colours used in the piece and how these make the learners feel. Ask the learners how they think they could recreate this work using digital devices. Encourage learners to suggest specific tools and to explain why these tools would be good for the job (e.g. shape tools could help them to make the squares and circles, they could use the paintbrush tools to create our own circles, etc.)  


Tell them that they are going to do a quick draw/write activity to show the feelings/colours we are going to portray in our paintings. Hand out pieces of plain paper that are divided up into sections, e.g. 4, 6, 9 squares (depending on learners’ skills). Ask the learners to draw/write the feelings/emotions that they are going to portray/show in each box. You could model this on a piece of A3 paper and discuss the colours that you might use for each feeling, e.g. happy = yellows, love = reds, etc. 

Activity 2[Text Wrapping Break](Slides 18–19) 


20 mins 

In this activity, learners get to create their own ‘Squares with Concentric Circles’ paintings. It may be helpful to display a copy of ‘Squares with Concentric Circles’ in the classroom at this point (see resources). 


  • Ask the learners to remind you how to open the painting program. 


You could model splitting the digital canvas into 4/6/9 sections using the line tool and then create the different squares in different ways, paying attention to the A3 feelings/emotions sheet. For example: 

  • Square 1 could be block-filled, and then you could use the circle/fill tool to add the concentric circles (sad = blues) 

  • Square 2 could be made by colouring in the box freehand using a chosen brush style, and circles could be added using a different freehand brush (yellow = happy) 


  • Remind learners that all shapes should join up (i.e. no gaps) and that lines should meet the edges of the canvas so that the paint doesn’t ‘spill out’. 

  • Tell the learners that they can use different tools today to complete their digital painting, but that they should think about which tools are most effective/helpful so they can fill in the assessment sheet. 

  • Share the self-assessment sheets with the learners. 


Allow learners time to create their own ‘Squares with Concentric Circles’ paintings. 


Explorer task: You could challenge learners to use other tools available in the chosen painting program (e.g. brush styles in Microsoft Paint).  


At an appropriate point in the lesson, ask the learners to save their work. Some learners may need support with this. Then ask them to complete their self-assessment sheets. 


Scaffolding opportunity: For filling in the self-assessment sheets, to support learners with their answers, they could pick from a variety of reasons (sheet provided in the resources, to cut into strips). 


(Slide 20) 


5 mins 

Look at some examples of the learners’ work. Ask learners to explain how they created their pieces, what tools they used and why they thought these were best for the job. It may help learners to refer to their assessment sheets at this point. You should bring learners back together and discuss why they chose the tools they did during the task. 


(Slides 21–22) 


5 mins 

Review the success criteria for the lesson with the learners. 


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