Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Composition Game- Inspired by Lisa Congdon

I love following Lisa Congdon on Instagram (@lisacongdon). Her work is so bright and bold. Her work influences my own personal sketchbook, but with this post, she inspires a lesson for my students. 

I love how Congdon plays with composition using different objects. She is practicing her skills in such a public way when she posts images like the one above.  I see the influence of these exercises in her paintings and drawings. I thought this exercise would be a great one to bring into my classroom as well. 

First I started by introducing my students to Lisa's work and explaining what composition is. I only choose to concentrate on 3 ways to create a composition; Balance, Emphasis, and Pattern.  The following Google Slide shows the introduction to Lisa Congdon's work and a beginner lesson of composition.

Now it was time for students to practice. Here is a video introducing the Composition Game that I wanted them to play. One word that I needed to cover for this video was what substrate is. I gave the simple definition of the place we put the art. If I'm a painter, the substrate might be a canvas. If I draw, the substrate might be paper. 

Students worked in small groups to create 6 different compositions as a group.

I encouraged students to make sure that each hand had a part of this activity. They could either have a person 'in charge' for each composition and switch who that person was, or they could all be actively involved with every composition.

Students documented their work by taking a picture with an iPad.

Students then posted their images to a Media Album in their Schoology class. They were asked to label each image. This was a good formative assessment for me to see if I needed to cover the concept again, or if we were ready to use the concept of composition for their own design work.  


  1. What a great and inspiring way of doing a lesson on composition! My class will love it!

  2. This is such a great activity/lesson/experience! Thank you for sharing!