Altered Pokemon Cards, Middle or High School Art: Elements & Principles of Art

Altered Pokemon Cards, Middle or High School Art: Elements & Principles of Art

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Teaching the Elements and Principles of Art is part of the visual art standards for nearly every state and some say are boring to teach. Not with this project! Students design and paint an altered trading card using the elements of art and principles of design. This painting project is a perfect introduction to acrylic paint for even the youngest teenager.

Why students will love it:
Well...students love Pokemon, Yugioh and Magic cards. Nuff said? No but really, they will love the idea of creating a piece of art from an existing card and acrylic painting is really fun!

Why teachers will love it:
This lesson will keep your students engaged and learning about something that they typically would find boring, the elements and principles of art. This makes your job easier, believe me! Teachers will love the demonstration video of two altered Pokemon cards, the full lesson plan, and Elements & Principles of Art sheets that can be used for any lesson.

  • 5 Page Lesson Plans with detailed process notes, National Visual Arts Standards, Big Ideas, Objectives, Essential Questions, Final outcomes, assessment, and more. Editable Word and PDF
  • 38 Page Editable PowerPoint Presentation with detailed student process examples and notes and PDF
  • Student Self-Evaluation as an editable Word document and PDF
  • Fully narrated video demonstration of two separate cards
  • Classroom Critique Worksheets specific to this lesson
  • Thumbnail Worksheets specific to this lesson
  • Elements of Art Definitions & Examples Sheet
  • Principles of Design Definitions & Examples Sheet
  • Student Project Checklist

Key Learning:
  • Use our favorite non-sport trading card and re-purpose it to create a custom piece of art.
  • Use the elements of art to create a minimum of one principle of design.
  • Learn acrylic painting techniques.
  • Identify and explain how each principle of art was used in your artwork.

  • Pencils/Erasers
  • Pokémon Cards (or other non-sports trading cards)
  • Acrylic Paints in a variety of colors Depending on the grade level/ability level of your students I would use craft acrylic paints for this lesson if you can. If you use student-grade acrylics, students will have to mix their own colors and these paints can be somewhat more translucent than the craft paint, which will make it tougher to work with.
  • Water cups
  • Brushes: filbert and a thin liner brush
  • Paper Towels
  • Palette

Light reflected off objects is color. Color has three main characteristics:
Hue - or its name (example red, green, blue, etc.)
Value - how light or dark it is
Intensity - how bright or dull it is­­­­­
Complementary Colors: Colors across from each other on the color wheel. Red/Green, Yellow/Violet, Blue/Orange.
Primary Colors: The colors from which all other colors are created, in pigment they are Red, Yellow and Blue.
Secondary Colors: Are the colors that are achieved by mixing the primary colors. Green, Orange and Violet
Intermediate Colors: Are the colors that are achieved by mixing Secondary Colors.
Line: An Element of Art. It is literally the extension of a dot. However, when the line intersects itself, it becomes a shape.
Warm & Cool Colors: Warm colors are the colors of the sun, Yellow, Orange and Red. Cool colors are the colors of water and grass, Blues and Greens.
Space: The area between or around objects. The space around objects is often called negative space; negative space has shape. Space can also refer to the feeling of depth. Real space is three-dimensional; in visual art when we can create the feeling or illusion of depth we call it space.
Texture: The surface quality that can be seen or felt. Actual texture can be felt, implied texture is seen.
Value: The relationship between light and dark. Change of value can be seen in high, low and medium contrast areas.
Shape: A closed line. Shapes can be geometric, like squares and rectangles, or organic, like free-formed shapes or natural shapes. Shapes are flat and can express length and width.
Form: Three-dimensional shapes, expressing length, width, depth. Balls, Cylinders and Boxes are examples of forms.
Creating a harmonious compositional balance involves arranging elements so that no single part of a work overpowers or seems heavier than any other part.
An area or object within the artwork that draws attention and becomes a focal point. Emphasis can be created
through the use of contrast in value, color, shape or size and leading lines/movement.
The visual path that a viewer’s eyes follow across a work of art, also the implied movement of lines and kinetic art
which incorporates actual movement.
Contrast is the arrangement of opposite elements (light vs. dark colors, rough vs. smooth textures, large vs. small shapes, etc.) in a piece so as to create visual interest, excitement, and drama. Variety is an assortment of lines, shapes, colors and other elements of art that create interest in a piece of artwork.
The surface quality that can be seen or felt. Real texture can be felt, implied texture can be seen and gives the illusion
of texture. Textures can be rough, smooth, soft or hard.
Repeated use of a shape, color, or other art element or design in a work can help unify different parts into a whole.
Patterns are planned or random repetitions of elements which help to create rhythm and unity in a piece of art. Patterns can be created with almost any element of art and often include multiple elements.
The individual elements that work together to create harmony in a piece of art. When it is achieved the artwork feels and looks finished. Unity can be achieved through the use of any element of art.

National Visual Arts Anchor Standards:
  • Anchor Standard #1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
  • Anchor Standard #2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
  • Anchor Standard #3. Refine and complete artistic work.
  • Anchor Standard #8. People gain insights into meanings of artworks by engaging in the process of art criticism.
  • Anchor Standard #11. People develop ideas and understandings of society, culture, and history through their interactions with and analysis of art.

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