2004 Camden Children at Peace Poster

Lesson Plan: Bearden
Art-Making Workshop

Art Aware
1701 South 4th Street

Camden, NJ 08014

(856) 365-0831


Click on any image for black & white version.

The students will be able to create their own collages using some of the same kinds of images and materials Bearden used.

Students will put to use some of the Bearden techniques they observed in the reproduction/slide lecture and learn to spontaneously add their own painted and graphite images to create their own unique artwork. They will learn the visual difference in smaller colored artwork and enlarged black/white copies (cf. Bearden’s Photostats).


  • 8&1/2”x11” white watercolor paper
  • Cut-out images prepared by students and/or teacher: of people (include body parts, small and large images), places (urban and rural), things (buildings, objects-animate and inanimate) from photos, ads, magazines, newspapers, etc.
  • Watercolor sets (where water is put into top of case so colors mix thus making it more difficult for students to be “perfectionists” wanting pure colors that don’t bleed together! Bearden loved the “bleeding.”)
  • scissors
  • glue sticks
  • pencils with erasers
  • permanent black markers
  • 11”x17” paper for enlargements of student work
  • copy machine with enlargement feature
  • cassette/CD player
  • cassette/CD of jazz music (see Resource list #5)

Jazz music will be played softly during workshop.

First, be sure to do your own sample. Show your stages to show students what they should be aiming for!

Stage 1) cut-outs and pastings, pencil drawings
Stage 2) black marker over some pencil drawings
2004 Camden Children at Peace Poster

Stage 3) water coloring

Students will choose and cut out images/textures they like and glue them on the white watercolor paper leaving white spaces for symbolizing “riffs” in jazz and for doing their own individual pencil images and water coloring.

Encourage students to cut faces and bodies up, as Bearden did, to come up with composite people (white/black, African/European, etc.)

After enlarging each student’s work on copy machine onto 11”x17” paper, teacher will mount it next to student’s original color work and discuss how the colored juxtapositions of cut-outs create images that tell stories. Those same images in black and white often tell different stories which are sometimes more objective and journalistic.

Mount all the students’ colored and black/white images together with a copy of Bearden’s colored “The Street” and his black/white enlarged Photostat of “The Street” together with a written description so that all passersby can appreciate Bearden’s (and the students’) intentions.

To make it last the whole year (there will be enough variety to make it interesting to look at for the whole year), mount the artwork in 22’ panels and laminate and hang in school with Velcro strips.

Students will discuss their displayed colored and enlarged black/white artwork with teachers, friends, visitors, etc.


Written Description of Exhibition:

Student Exhibition
XYZ School
Art Teacher’s name

Romare Bearden was one of the most outstanding artists of the 20th century.

He brought the whole world together with his art.

He especially highlighted the universality of his African-American heritage.

In 1964, Bearden experimented with black and white Photostat enlargements of his art work. (See the two examples of “The Street.”)

He was aiming for an objective, journalistic expression in the enlargements. In his color collages there are often more clashes between the elements. In his black/white Photostats there are sometimes less differences between the collage pieces.

In this exhibition, enjoy the differences!

Copyright © 2005 Art Aware.

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Updated November 20, 2013