Art Education – Design – Senior Grades

Units to be used singly, in borders, or in surface patterns, may be obtained in the same way in this Form as in Form I, Junior Grade. A little more latitude in the choice of unit may be allowed, as the power to repeat units regularly and keep them of the same size grows.

When the class is laying borders with small squares, oblongs, or triangles of paper, or with seeds, some members are sure to discover that one square may lap or be laid on top of another in such a way as to produce a pleasing unit. Three or four oblongs or three or four triangles may be grouped satisfactorily and the new unit repeated. Attractive units may also be made by grouping three or more seeds. Units made in this way should be finished with black and one colour. In some cases some of the shapes may be covered with black crayon. Other designs will look better if the coloured shapes are outlined with black. When a unit lends itself to such an arrangement, some part or parts of it should be left uncoloured, as this class may use black, white, and one colour in finishing their designs.



A delightful problem for the pupils is the putting of a surface pattern on plain white muslin. The pattern should be rather small and dainty, and before the crayons are used they may be sharpened. The really good results should be pressed with a hot iron. In the case of some crayons this will make the colours fast. If there is a school doll, the best figured muslin resulting from the lesson might be made into a dress for it. Only those who have previously made a successful pattern should be allowed to work on the muslin.


These may be used in the making of borders and surface patterns. Two or three stripes of different widths may be put around the edge of a square of paper which is being thought of as a handkerchief. A similar border would be suitable for the edge of a tray, a box, or a basket, or for the ends of a towel, or a rug woven with strips of cotton or raffia.

Stripes also may be used in the making of surface patterns. This kind of decoration is particularly adapted for application to some of the paper or card-board furniture, the making of which is an interesting exercise in construction for primary grades. For a seat such as the one in the illustration, two sheets of 6″ by 6″ paper are required. The creasing of the paper and the placing of the stripes must be carefully done, so that the stripes in the back and in the seat will match. The sheet of paper which folds to form back and ends should have the stripes drawn on both sides. Only one colour should be used in the decoration.

Steps to be followed in making and decorating the seat :

1. Fold and crease two sheets of paper, as shown in Figure 1.

2. Separate one strip from the side of each sheet. (Figure 2)

3. Draw the coloured stripes along the short creases and edges.

4. Cut along the creases at each end of one sheet, as far as the first, crosswise crease. (Figure 3)

5. Fold the other sheet along the middle crease and cut both arms at the same time.

6. Fold and paste the ends of the first sheet to form the box for the seat.

7. Place the other sheet in position and paste the back and ends.


The Autumn book cover illustrations show good placings for the title and suggest some ways in which a berry or similar unit may be repeated to decorate the front cover of a folder intended to hold the drawings made from nature during September and October. The measurements may be made by marking the spaces on the cover from a sheet of the same size that has been folded and creased.

Christmas book covers may be made by cutting designs from coloured paper and pasting them in position. Another plan is to have each pupil cut out the best picture he can make of something appropriate to the season—a bell, a lighted candle in the candlestick, a Christmas tree, or even Santa Claus—to use as a pattern in tracing a border or other arrangement of the unit, which may then be coloured. In work for a special occasion such as Christmas, the teacher may give a great deal of help to the pupils by making mass drawings on the black-board.

Valentines, such as those illustrated, are easily made from paper by folding and cutting. The small hearts, Figures 2 and 4, may be cut, traced, and coloured with crayon; or small heart-shaped seals may be used. Coloured crayons are used for the other decorations and for the lettering.

Simple flowers such as the crocus, daffodil, or tulip make appropriate decorations for an Easter card or booklet. Coloured drawings made previously from nature by the pupils may be cut into rectangles of suitable size and pasted under the lettering after the rectangle has been outlined, or freehand cuttings from the flower may be utilized in the same way.

As soon as possible, the pupils should be required to put the name and date on all drawings. For this purpose, lettering is better than script. The teacher should keep on the black-board a straight line alphabet similar to the one given in the Form II lessons. This will give each pupil an opportunity to find the letters in his own name.

The first lettering done by the pupil should be laid by him in sticks on his desk and then drawn on paper with lead-pencil or crayon. Such letters as A, E, F, H, I, K, L, M, N, T, V, W, X, Y, Z, lend themselves to stick laying. When these have been practised till the class as a whole can make them legible and fairly regular, letters having upright bars combined with curves as B, D, J, P, R, and U may be taken, the more difficult letters being left till these have been fairly mastered.

The chief points to be kept in view in this class are that all letters should be the same height and should stand upright in an even line. Letters in words should be kept close together without touching, and there should be a space as wide as a letter between words.

The lettering of each drawing, the titles of booklets, and short mottoes such as, “Dare to be true “, ” Be on time “, “Be polite “, ” Work while you work “, ” Play while you play “, will furnish plenty of opportunity for practice.

Lettering may be correlated with spelling by having words written on the black-board by the teacher translated into lettering by the pupils. Only straight line capitals of the simplest formation possible should be made.