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Visual Arts Lesson: Pear-Shaped Bottle

Creating a symmetrical bottle shape with blue wash design


•Knowledge and skills. Complete TEKS for 6th grade art.

1. Perception: a.
2. Creative expression/performance: a.and c.
3. Historical cultural heritage: a.

4. Response/evaluation: a.


•The students will be able to describe the designs on this Chinese ceramic bottleand analyze and discuss the shape of the piece.
•The students will be able to describe how art from China arrived in Mexico during the viceregal period.
•The students will create their own blue monochromatic designs in wash by direct observation to illustrate simple objects from nature.
•The students will create a vase or bottle shape that illustrates the concept of symmetry.

Introducing the
Work of Art


Large Image

•While viewing a large image of the bottle, have students discuss the number of colors used in the design. Explain the term monochromatic. Look at the range of values of the one color on the vase.
•Discuss the shape of the container and why it is described as symmetrical.
•Note the subject matter of the objects used in decorating the vase. These include pomegranate seeds, blossom, horses, fantastic beasts, mountains, and waves.
•Discuss the process of creating ceramics, turning on the wheel, firing, glazing, underglaze painting, etc.

Art Activity

Two forty-five minute classes

blue tempera or watercolor
large white paper

•On large sheets of white paper, students will make blue wash drawings such as seed pods, flowers and other similar still-life objects which have been placed on their desks for careful observation.
•When paintings are complete (the page totally filled with wash drawings) the students will fold the large sheets of paper in half and cut symmetrical vase shapes.
•After unfolding the sheets the students should study again the pear-shaped bottle and note the borders and design details that emphasize the neck and foot of the vase. The students should complete their own symmetrical designs by painting borders or patterns to emphasize the shapes that they have created.
•The large vases should be displayed on the wall as a group design.

Evaluation Procedure

•Students will discuss their work of art and how they met the lesson objectives. Students could also write about their work of art and how its relationship in design to the pear-shaped bottle.
•Each work should show a blue wash design across the entire piece that represents the subject matter and shows a complete range of values from light to dark. The finished piece should show a bottle-like shape that is symmetrical with wash decoration that emphasizes the form of the piece.See assessment matrix.

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