Lesson Plan

The Distortion Project

Step-by-step instruction for achieving project goals

Students will continue practice with shading, and emphasize the portrait. 

After this project, students should understand how to use a grid tool effectively with art and drawing.

Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Find subject matter

Instruct students to search these apps for a portrait-focused art piece. 

Student Instructions

Search these apps for a portrait focused art piece.

Piece may be from any time period, and may contain one or two portraits.

If you are unsure about your drawing abilities, the simpler piece the better.

Once you have found your piece, print it out.

You may also use a page from a magazine.

2 Crop and Grid printed portrait

Activity: Drawing

Instruct students to grid their portraits with a 1 inch by 1 inch squares. Allow them to crop their portraits with an xacto if they are responsible enough, or with a scissor if it is younger or less mature class.

Student Instructions

Measure your portrait image to be an exact inch amount, i.e. exactly 5 inches by 8 inches or 10 inches by 12 inches or any whole inch amount. Fractions are acceptable, but whole inches will make it easier on you.

Divide your printout into a 1x1" grid using a straightedge and a pencil or pen. The entire page should be gridded.

3 Create Distortion outline shape

Activity: Drawing

This step is best described with an example, if one is available.

Instruct students to, with a straight ege and a PENCIL, on a separate piece of paper, create a square or rectangle that is proportionately larger  than their printed portrait by at least 1.5 times. 

Within this rectangle, create straight lines to form a different shape. The possibilities on this step are variable. 

Student Instructions

On a separate piece of paper, in pencil, create a rectangle that is proportionately LARGER than your print out by at LEAST 1.5 times. it may be larger. For example, if your portrait is 5X8", the rectangle would be 7.5X12". You can use a calculator to help.

Once you have your rectangle, inside of it draw a different shape using only straight lines. This shape must touch either all four walls of the rectangle, or two opposite walls.


4 Gridding the distortion

Activity: Drawing

Instruct students to grid the rectangle and the shape.

Student Instructions

Along the vertical axis of the rectangle, create level, horizontal lines in increments of the same measurement as expanded. For example, if you expanded at 1.5", then make horizontal lines at every 1.5 inch. 

Now, within your inside shape, create as many vertical lines as your print out has, equally distanced and proportionate to the print-out.

5 Filling the grid

Activity: Drawing

Instruct the transfer of the non distorted image into a distorted image.

Student Instructions

Now, you should have a wonky, distorted grid. Your job is to fill in the distorted grid with the image that is not distorted.