Lesson Plan

Julian Otto Trevelyan, Bulldozer, 1973, aquatint and etching

Lesson plan developed by Rita Yanny, Kegonsa School, Stoughton Area School District, Wisconsin

Grade Level

Kindergarten to grade 2 

Summary of Activity

Students will become familiar with art concepts and techniques as they create a collage using a variety of materials. The subject of the collage will be inspired by Julian Otto Trevelyan’s print, Bulldozer.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify and use shapes in art
  • Identify and use a horizon line
  • Use scale and spatial concepts (foreground/middle ground/ background) in a collage
  • Draw from observing three-dimensional models
  • Use a variety of painting techniques to create textures

Guiding Question

How do artists show in their art how things look and feel in the world?

Curriculum Connections

Art, Mathematics, English Language Arts


Day 1: twelve by eighteen-inch heavyweight paper, rulers, pencils, paintbrushes, paint cups, newspapers, tempera paint, texture tools/combs (cut from cardboard with scissors), sand 

Day 2: twelve by eighteen-inch heavyweight paper, pencils, permanent marker pens, watercolor pencils and/or watercolors, paintbrushes, cups for water, small models or toys (bulldozers, backhoes, trucks)

Day 3: scissors, glue, glue brush, plastic lid, brayers, waxed paper

National Gallery of Art online classroom resource on texture: http://www.nga.gov/education/classroom/elements/texture/index.shtm


Explain to the students that they are going to learn how artists make things look up close and far away in a picture. They are also going to try some exciting painting techniques to create textures.

Show students the print, Bulldozer, by Julian Otto Trevelyan. Facilitate a discussion about the subject matter of the print. Ask the students to describe what they see. Ask them to consider what it might sound like if they were in the picture—is it noisy or quiet? Discuss what the surfaces might feel like—is the ground bumpy or smooth? Ask them to look closely at the image of the bulldozer. What parts are smooth? What parts have other textures? Ask students to describe what they see in the image that makes them think so.

Explain that Julian Otto Trevelyan drew a picture into a piece of metal, called a plate, using special materials and tools. He then put ink on this metal plate. By pressing paper onto the inked metal plate, the artist could make many impressions, or copies, of his drawing. These copies are called prints. Tell the students that they will each begin to make a picture called a collage, not a print. Like Bulldozer, the subject of their collage will be machines and construction. Students will also draw some of the same shapes that are seen in the print. How they place these drawings on their collage will make some of them appear to be up close and others appear to be farther away. 


Day 1:  Introduce (or review) the concept of a horizon line. Ask older students to identify the foreground, middle ground, and background in Bulldozer

Cut a comb from a scrap of thin cardboard or have texture tools/combs ready.

Write students’ names on the back of a twelve by eighteen-inch sheet of heavyweight paper. Use a ruler to make a “frame” in pencil around the edge of the paper. Remind students that they will paint within this frame. Ask them to draw three or four lines across the page, creating a horizon line, foreground, middle ground, and background. Paint areas with a palette of blue, violet, gray, white, and black tempera paints.

Show students possibilities for adding texture to the wet paint. Techniques could include scratching into the paint or making marks with combs or texture tools, as well as lightly sprinkling sand into the wet paint. Dry on rack.

Day 2:  Ask students what machines appear to be closer and which ones seem to be farther away in Bulldozer. Ask them to consider how the size changes when a machine appears farther away. Ask them to look for and name the shapes that the artist used in Bulldozer, e.g., squares, circles, rectangles, triangles. 

Tell the students that they will look at three-dimensional toys as models for their pencil sketches and drawings of machines.

Demonstrate how to combine simple shapes with lines in order to create drawings of machines. Tell the students that they may also draw buildings or other structures in their picture. Remind them to make their objects in a variety of sizes so that some will appear to be up close and others will seem to be farther away when they cut and glue these drawings to the painted paper.

Ask the students write their names on their papers. Begin with pencil, then outline the drawings with a permanent marker pen. Add color with watercolor pencils and paints. Let dry.

Day 3:  Review spatial concepts focusing on the sizes and the placement of the machines in the Bulldozer.  Explain to the students that they will complete their collages today by cutting, arranging, and gluing their machine drawings to the textured painted background. A small brush is helpful to spread glue to the edges of the drawings. Flatten by layering a piece of waxed paper on top of the collage and using a printmaking brayer to "steamroll" the collaged drawings. Ask the students to sign their collages with a pencil. If necessary, layer the collages with waxed paper and add weight on top with a book or a box. 

Lesson Plan Example

Lesson Plan Example

Lesson Plan Example

Lesson Plan Example


  • Compare the process of making one collage versus creating multiple prints
  • Discuss actual texture in the collage vs. simulated texture in the print
  • Explain the numbering on the print (for example, 28/ 52 indicates that this was the 28th print in an edition of 52).
  • Students could add extra details to their collages with drawing media or colored papers, title their art, write a story about what is going on in their picture, or imagine what is going to happen next in Bulldozer.


  • horizon line The horizon line in a picture represents where land or water seems to end and the sky seems to begin.
  • texture  Texture is an art element that defines how a surface looks and feels.
  • collage A collage is a picture made by gluing materials to a two-dimensional surface.

Common Core Standards

  • Mathematics:  K.G.1, K.G.2, 1.G.1, 1.G.2, 2.G.1
  • English Language Arts: K.SL.3, K.SL.5, 1.SL.3, 1.SL.5, 2.SL.3, 2.SL.5

Wisconsin Visual Arts Standards

  • E. Visual Communication and Expression: Students will produce quality images and objects that effectively communicate and express ideas using varied media, techniques, and processes. Students will:
  • E.4.1 Communicate basic ideas by producing studio art forms, such as drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics
  • E.4.4 Communicate ideas by producing visual communication forms useful in everyday life, such as sketches, plans and models
  • H. Visual Thinking:  Students will develop perception, visual discrimination, and media literacy skills to become visually educated people. Students will:
  • H.4.3 Use careful observation and show differences among colors, shapes, textures, and other qualities in their artwork

Julian Otto Trevelyan (British, 1910-1988), Bulldozer, 1973, aquatint and etching, 26 x 32 inches. Gift of Saul Steinberg. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

Related Art On Tour Artwork: