These weeks were spent developing the skill set to draw in one point perspective. We discussed examples in art history and the concept of a vanishing point before giving students the opportunity to try for themselves.
The example of railroad tracks appearing to close upon a single point helped to illustrate how the eye perceives space:
We showed how this would translate onto a two-dimensional page:
Our last two weeks have been spent continuing with our collage portraits. We continued to stress the importance of collaging from actual observation rather than imagination. Here is some of their work: Jake’s piece, below, went so far as to include a light source to show how the right side of the face was brighter than the left side of his face, which was in shadow. He also did a
great job of paying attention to color and form. Nice job Jake.
While students were instructed to avoid literal clippings of faces, a few chose to use them anyway, and in some cases the results were beautiful: This works because there was enough sensitivity to the color and form of the rest of the collage. Everyone put a lot of effort into these projects the last few weeks and the results show that. After Christmas Break we’ll introduce a new project and revisit the mural! Have a great vacation!
Picking up where we left off last week, everyone grabbed a partner and began their collage portraits. Students began by sketching their partner in pencil, paying close attention to proportion and form. We spent a lot of time looking at how to draw noses, lips, and ears, as well as studying where these features fall on a human face. Since the magazine clippings were to be collaged over top of these sketches, the sketches didn’t need to be overly detailed, although a few couldn’t help themselves!
We encouraged everyone to think not just about the physical color of their partner’s clothing, hair, and eyes, but to look at the subtlety within these colors. How does a light source affect a color? How does a highlight or a shadow affect the intensity, saturation or hue of a color? We encouraged them to try and represent these differences through the colors they cut out from the magazines.
Some initial sketching:
Beginning to apply color:
And perhaps most exciting to some, was the addition of newly hatched chicks in the back of the class!
Next week we will talk a bit about our process and progress and try to finish up the collages. Thanks to everyone who posted their thoughts on the MURAL page!
Yesterday we stepped away from creating and worked together to brainstorm for the large mural we’ll be designing in the upper school portion of the hallway. We now have a separate link at the top of this page called MURAL which will track the progress of this project specifically.
The goal of this project is to modify the upper school portion of the hallway, which is currently white and unadorned. We are looking to illustrate what it means to be a part of the St. Thomas Aquinas community through the community’s own words. To get students thinking about the significance and the uniqueness of their school, we posed a series of five questions and recorded their feedback. We covered nearly every square inch of the two wall-length blackboards in the room.
If you have anything you additional you would like to share, or if you are a St. Thomas parent, teacher or administrator and would like to add your thoughts, visit the MURAL page and leave a comment. In the following weeks we will discuss how these comments, thoughts, and quotes will inform the look of the mural.
For inspiration, we showed some mural work by Paula Scher, a graphic designer at Pentagram who’s created various environmental graphics for New York area schools. These examples were something for us to reference in the creation of our own mural.
We spent the last portion of our class talking about color theory. We discussed the color wheel and the way it’s broken down into primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.
Take a look at some of these wall murals and notice the color palettes Paula Scher is using. Where do these colors fall on the color wheel? How do they relate to each other?
Next week students will begin a collage project using color from recycled magazines, at which point we’ll begin to incorporate more vocabulary and explore complementary and analogous colors, saturation, hue, and temperature. Don’t forget to bring magazines!!
In our second class, we moved from two-dimensional explorations to three-dimensional explorations. I talked about a few examples in modern architecture, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water, Gerrit Rietveld’s Schroder House, and Frank Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall. We looked at the way architectural plans are crafted and the importance of considering the design from all angles, both interior and exterior. Showing some traditional drafting practices, as well as sketches for famous pieces of architecture, we looked at floor plans, section plans, and elevation plans.
An elevation of the Schroder House:
A gestural sketch for Gehry’s Concert Hall:
Students then designed their own creations on paper, including homes, furniture, birdhouses, and robots. In creating their own plans, they were required to think about how their ideas looked from all angles, including the front, the back, the top, the bottom, the sides, and the interior. Here are a few of their sketches, in various stages of completion:
Once they had considered their piece from multiple angles, they modeled them using a system of recycled cardboard units. Based on a 3″ x 3″ square, each student got a set of 18 pieces, including 3″ x 1.5″ pieces, 3″x6″ pieces, and 3″ x 12″ pieces . Using the same set of pieces, each student created their own unique construction. We asked those who completed their model to then draw what they had built. Along the way, many learned that the more time they invested in their sketches, the easier it was to complete their model. Others learned that creating structurally sound pieces is difficult. Some had to contend with translating their sketches into something more geometric that could be built largely with planes rather than lines and curves.
Here are a few of their models:
This piece, in progress below, was exceptional. Morgan knew that creating the domed roof she had designed on paper would be difficult, and made some nice changes to represent it with planes. She did a great job considering both the interior and exterior space.
Morgan’s finished piece:
Once she finished her model, she sketched a quick section plan:
Jake understood that the pieces correlated in size and created a model that demonstrated this. This was a great simple and contained solution that reflected a “staircased” idea in his sketches.
This is the model of the birdhouse sketch from above. Kim did a great job with her craft and assembly, fitting the pieces together via slits in the cardboard instead of glue.
Next week, we’ll talk a bit about these models as a group and have a discussion about the mural project.
Here’s a great website we didn’t have time to look at this week: http://www.clarkart.edu/exhibitions/monet/sketchbooks/ It’s a collection of 8 Claude Monet sketchbooks. Monet was a famous French impressionist painter in the 19th century. You can flip through the pages, zoom in and out, and rotate them.
What do you notice about the way he sketches?