We are all familiar with the nighttime works of artists like Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Henri Rousseau, Edvard Munch, and Edward Hopper…to name a few. These paintings come alive with the use of light, shadow, and color to create depth, enliven asleep objects, and develop movement. The lesson plan “Moon Over NYC” gives us the opportunity to draw from our own personal experiences and surroundings to create an evening skyline mixed media work. Research work by mixed media artists such as Picasso and Georges Braque. Using mixed media such as board, tissue paper, markers, graphite, and colored pencils allows us to enhance the shadows and properties of night environments. Explore these environments by taking a nighttime walk or drive and observe the silhouettes and other forms created by city or natural light. Look at the calendar and study the phases of the moon and when the nighttime light will be at its brightest. Observe objects that are familiar to you and discuss how they look different at nighttime. What makes them look different–moonlight, streetlights, color, shadows, and shapes? Take all your research and create a nighttime silhouette that is meaningful to you!
Moon Over NYC Art Project
This project allows students to study the works of both collage artists such as Picasso and Braque as well as nighttime painters like Van Gogh and Hopper. They will understand and experience the art of collage making by creating a nighttime silhouette collage. Students will be able to explore how mixed media and the Elements and Principles of Design all play a part in their artwork.
Tips for the Moon Over NYC Project
- Keep the design simple and avoid too much detail
- Sketch out skyline or landscape to be used and determine background, middle ground, and foreground.
- Students should start with the background and determine their light source, natural or man-made, then build out middle ground followed by foreground.
- Have students study the phases of the moon and how this affects the natural light on an object.
- Highlight important Elements and Principles of Design that students should keep in mind when planning their piece.
More Nighttime Art Lesson Plans & Ideas
Want to try something else? Be sure to check out these other art lesson plans and view our Art Lesson Plan collection for even more.
Share Your At-Home Students’ Artwork and Enter for a Chance to Win $250!
While we engage in at-home learning, we want to celebrate the wonderful pieces students have created! We are looking for all at-home student artists and giving them an opportunity to shine! Submit their artwork to be considered for our next featured at-home student artist and a chance to win a merchandise certificate worth $250 for the student and the teacher who inspired them. Original artwork from students of all grade levels is eligible and the online submission process is simple. Visit our Student Art page for details.
After 24 years as a college admissions director, Mary crossed over to provide the materials for art education as a member of Sax, first as manager of Inside Sales, then as National Sales Manager. Mary has overseen a team of 15 art consultants. In 2000 Mary and her team created Sax Lesson Plan Book partnerships with prominent art supplies vendors. Meanwhile, she has refined her own artful style of presentation at various national, state and local conferences.
For Nadine, art education has been her life’s work, including an Ohio teaching license, 5 years teaching elementary art, and 19 years in higher education (teacher prep). She has served Sax for 25 years as a Category Account Manager, Art Consultant, and Subject Matter Expert. In the latter capacity, Nadine has presented at various national, state, and local conferences.