Car: Create Your Own Artwork




Design your own car. Greg Curnoe's Car is very unique because of its shape and form, colour and texture. It looks like a car, but at the same time it's very different from a real one. Create a work of art based on your own favourite car toy.


Learning Expectations:


Students will create a two-dimensional work of art that expresses feelings and ideas.

Students will demonstrate an understanding of composition, using selected elements [colour] and principles of design [emphasis, proportion and balance] to create an artwork.




Cars (toys) (Students will be asked to bring their own cars to school)

Digital image of “Car” by Greg Curnoe

Cardboard (8" x 8")

Pencil (graphite)


Oil paint

Paint brushes




Part 1:


Students observe and discuss Curnoe’s “Car“.

What was the point of view of the artist? / What is the perspective that we see the car from? [Answer: Car is seen from the front]


Analyze the principles of design according to the grade level:

Grade 4: Where did the artist want us to focus our attention? What resources did he use to create emphasis?

Grade 5: Did he follow traditional rules of proportion? For instance, compare the size of the steering wheel and the lights. Do they follow the same size-scale? Is the size of some elements exaggerated?

Grade 6: Did he arrange the elements of design to create the impression of equality in weight or importance? Look at the elements that come in pairs (tires, lights and front seats). Are they equal in size? Where is the rear-view mirror positioned? What effect did he create by placing it at the center? Is Car symmetrical or asymmetrical?


Part 2:


Choose a point of view and depict your car from there [e.g. from the front, the back, the side]


Observe your own car (toy) from that point of view.

Using a pencil, draw your car on your cardboard: a) start with the shape, b) then add features that make it both recognizable and unique [e.g. windshield, steering wheel, lights, and rear-view mirrors]


Part 3:


Carefully cut out your car following the outline of its shape.


Part 4:


Choose the colour scheme for your car.


As a reference:

Greg Curnoe painted his car using primary and secondary colours.

The combination that he used for the largest areas of car was red, orange and yellow.

These are analogous colours / warm colours.


Remember that you can use colours to express ideas and feelings. What do you want people to think and feel when they see your car?


Choose a colour scheme and use it to paint your car’s features.



Greg Curnoe, Car, 1967 (detail)

Collection of Museum London

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Moore, London, Ontario, through the Ontario Heritage Foundation, 1978

© Estate of Greg Curnoe / SOCAN (2019)











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