Grade Level

9-10, 11-12


Approximately 5-6 periods, 90 minute periods


18×24 watercolor paper, pencil, sharpie (fine and extra-fine point), erasers, pan watercolor set (Reeves preferred), *metallic paint
Art Noveau visual resources


Mixed media

Lesson Objectives

To be able to reflect an understanding of art nouveau through creating an original portrait in Art Nouveau style.
To be able to identify the art elements in art nouveau work.
Students will show an understanding of proportions for drawing the human face from the front, side, and three-quarter views.

Introductory Activity

In preparation, introduce students to the Art Nouveau style and artists such as Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, and Aubrey Beardsley. See the presentation and YouTube files in the resource section of this lesson.
Students should be able to identify specific Art Nouveau style choices and techniques.
Review proportions for drawing the human face from the front, side, and three-quarter views (see resource section).

Lesson Process

Teachers may opt to have students do self-portraits or portraits of friends, family, etc. Students should work from a good quality photo of their subject. This could include photos the student takes, find in magazines, or online. Students should start in sketchbooks, if available, or on inexpensive drawing paper. This is a time students can really research and look at all the reference material available on art nouveau. After students have developed their design with art nouveau embellishments, the students can start with a pencil drawing on a good sheet of watercolor paper. Next, students apply watercolor to their designs. Depending on the classes, the teacher may need to demonstrate how to apply watercolor paint and basic color theory if it has not been covered. Lastly, students add ultra fine point sharpie to fine lines in their artwork, fine tip sharpie lines for thicker line work, as well as to block in some areas of black.


proportion, biomorphic, klimt, organic, Art Nouveau, motif, Gustav Klimt, Mucha, Alphonse Mucha, Aubrey Beardsley, Beardsley


Presentation on Art Nouveau
YouTube on Art Noveau
Gustav Klimt
Proportions of the Face

Art Nouveau Reference Books
Art Nouveau Patterns and Designs
Treasury of Art Nouveau Design & Ornament
Art Nouveau: The Essential Reference (Dover Pictorial Archive)
The Art Nouveau Style Book of Alphonse Mucha
Art Nouveau Floral Patterns and Stencil Designs in Full Color
Art Nouveau Ornamentation

Author & Website/Blog

Anna Lindsey Garner

Supporting Images