Artwork Title: Holon

Name of Artist: Fahmy Bin Said

School: Yishun Secondary School


Abstract Compositions

Students will create an abstract work of art that expresses a feeling about a place or experience in the student’s life, based on the series of artwork titled ‘Holon’.

Objective/ Instructions:

Students will:

  1. create an abstract or non-objective piece of art.
  2. use correct art terminology (line, shape, color, etc.) to describe another artist’s work of art.
  3. create their own visual symbols to use in their work.
  4. identify the mood of a work of art and be able to give reasons
    for his or her answer.
  5. develop their expressive interpretations of a given visual stimulus.


On a cloudy day, bring students out into the open and get them to look at the clouds. Get students to share with the class the images that they see when looking at the clouds.


Imagery of what looks like a cat Imagery of what looks like a dog

However, students may not always conjure the same images when staring at the same group of clouds.  Encourage students to share what they see to help their friends imagine what else is possible.

Classroom activity:


Fahmy Said

Holon 03 (Rose)


Mixed Media on Canvas, 90cm x 120cm

Lesson steps:

  1. Show students the image of Holon 03 (Rose), by Fahmy Said. Give them 2-3 minutes to quietly study the work.
  1. Begin a discussion about the artwork, with the question prompt “Connect-Extend-Challenge”. Give students time to answer and then ask them why they have come to that conclusion. Be sure to tell them that all of their guesses are valid because this work is not representational, and each person may interpret this piece differently. Begin a discussion of abstract and non-representational art.
  1. Consider asking these additional questions:
  • What colours do you see in the picture? What kind of feeling do you get from this artwork based on the colours, shapes, and lines? Happy? Sad? Energetic? Excited?
  • How does the image suggest movement?
  • How will you feel about the painting if the canvas support was a different shape? Triangle or circle canvas?
  • How does the title influence how you feel about the painting?
  1. Activity 1:

Provide students with oil-based paints, nail polish, tempera, marbling paints and the right equipment to create paper marbling. Get students to explore and experiment with the materials and water to create abstract images.

After the works have dried, get students to look at the abstract paintings and get them to try and conjure images in all that abstraction. Remind them of the exercise of looking at the clouds.

Example of students’ works

  1. Have the students think about a place or an event in their life that they thought was meaningful or exciting. Give the students the scrap paper and a few minutes to work out three to four organic shapes that relate to objects, animals or people they feel would express the idea of this place.
  2. Once students have decided on a few symbolic shapes to enhance from their marbling paper, they can begin to enhance the selected organic shapes—outline, shade, and re-shape. After enhancing the selected shapes, decide the treatment needed for the other areas. They should start with a pencil to sketch it out and then add crayon, oil pastel, colored pencils, or paint.
  3. Discuss some of the students’ finished pieces with the class. At this point, be sure not to include personal opinions, but keep students on task by asking about the elements and principles of art.
  4. Conduct a Gallery Walk for finished artworks. As a class, re-organise the works works according to selected themes: man-made, nature, animals and so on.

Example of students’ works


“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” – Pablo Picasso

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” – Pablo Picasso

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