Set students the task of recording a river's differing aspects by zooming in using a digital camera or viewing it through a small rectangle cut out of card. Students can create small abstract designs by selecting close-ups of reflections on the surface of the water, sections of boats, the winding machinery of a lock and so on. Each image must centre on one of the visual elements: one predominantly concentrating on line, another on colour, a third on shape and pattern, and so on. This task will concentrate students on "selective looking". Only when the teacher can identify which visual element is being focused on without being told, can the image be used in the final product.
Show pupils Eduardo Paolozzi's work, such as "Utopia", which combines aspects of a city - or Charles Demuth's "My Egypt", in which he reduces an industrial landscape to geometric forms.
Pupils can then cut up and combine the imagery they have collected into one design, which can be enlarged as their final piece, an abstract picture based on "river forms".