## Re: Basic skill lessons (perspective ideas)

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• Mrs. Priorhouse-thank you for the detailed ideas. I am trying them out myself and really appreciate your sharing. Feel free to send me more if you have any
Message 1 of 6 , Feb 11, 2011
Mrs. Priorhouse-thank you for the detailed ideas. I am trying them out myself and really appreciate your sharing. Feel free to send me more if you have any thing you think is helpful.
Take care,
Julie

--- In art_education@yahoogroups.com, "priorhouse" <priorhouse@...> wrote:
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> Hi Julie, I have a few ideas for basic skills with perspective.
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> A. One lesson I really love for younger students is the floating shapes. Not sure where I found the original lesson (or I would link it), but this one can be used for any age and it is a great intro to one point perspective.
>
> Basically, use an 11 x 14 or larger sheet of paper -
> Step 1: draw three shapes on the right side of the page. If you start with circles, make them any sized. We use lids for the shapes so they come out nice and round. It also helps with closing them off in a later.
> Step 2: Put a vanishing point on the left side of the page - and for the first lesson we usually place it high or very low.
> Step 3: Then we use a ruler to make whisper light lines to our shapes. A few students usually do not USE the ruler for the lines and I kindly have them start over and explain why the ruler is needed for perspective lines. Also, beginning students do not always realize that the lines are guides and so I go over that as needed, but it usually shows once the shape is done. If we made three triangles for our shapes, it does help to add little dots to the corners and then we connect the vanishing point to the corner dots. It really helps if the triangles are different sizes.
> Step 4: After the guidelines are drawn to the outside of the circle, we use the same sized lid to close of the shape at a desired size. Most students will want to put a straight line in, and so I demo what both look like on the board. When they see that the curved line makes it more like a can or cylinder shape, - well they begin to grasp concept.
> Step 5: we outline the original circle, the closing shape and the guidelines for that shape and erase the extra guidelines. Keep in mind that pencil pressure is taught all along the way... and we intro art terms as needed (what is value, tone, etc.) - and depending on the time, age and details of lesson, we then turn our cans into something. Older students use value and hatching to show dimension, and younger students
> This is a great pop art lesson where can look at soup cans. But the can shape can be anything and I usually show TNT and a soda logo. The triangles can be turned into little floating tents. Sometimes we cut them out and other times we leave the items floating in space.
>
> B. Another lesson idea, Make a back wall in a room. Use van Gogh's bedroom as a discussion piece.
> Start with a square in middle of page. Make four lines out from the square to the corners. There are many versions of this lesson, but a simple way to start is to put one dot in the middle of the square and this is the vanishing point. Using this point, we make wooden planks for a hard wood floor, we add in a window and basically add various details. I usually explain to the students that now their creative art side is called to, as they need to decorate and make the room their own. Students begin thinking and trying things (and that art process is now permeating a different side of the mind!) and some have added cracks in the wall, curtains, chandeliers and bows, etc.
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> C. Make a mobile home or small building - and have students do it again and again. It may seem redundant, but many times it takes making many simple buildings to get comfortable with the VP. I had s mall group of boys (private lessons) and they made ten rectangular buildings. Each one had to use an element of art to make it unique - some had faces hidden in with the door and windows, some had complementary colors showing a sports team head quarter, etc. Very creative lesson - and by the end of the two sessions, the students were super comfortable with perspective and were able to get so much more from some Escher samples and they began to see other works and drawings with new "perspective" ha.
>
> D. The "Masterpiece of the month book" is a book I have bought three times in the past five years - it is a personal favorite (hint - buy a copy! it is awesome) And the lessons include a couple of perspective lessons. For example, page 81 uses an Utrillo masterpiece as a theme and then students draw using perspective.
> quick version of it:
> Step 1: draw a horizontal line across paper
> 2: put dot in center, this is vanishing point
> 3: draw two lines from the vanishing point to end of the paper (could be a road, river, tracks, etc.)
> 4: To add a house - make a regular square on one die of the lines drawn and below the horizon line.
> 5: Add lines from the vanishing point to the three closest corners on the square.
> 6: create the back corner of the house by adding a straight (vertical) line in the bottom section of guidelines. This is a tricky part so make and it is really easy to make the line "look" a certain way as opposed to keeping it straight - so we use a ruler to make it.
> 7. Draw in an X in square using whisper light lines.
> 8. Make a line down the middle of the X - that rises above the top of the square and goes as high as you want the roof to be.
> 9. Connect the top square corners to the top of the line that was just extended from the square to make the room.
> 10. Connect the roof to the vanishing point with a whisper light line. This will make the roofline.
> 11. Line up the ruler with the angle on the roof and slide the ruler back to make the closing roofline in the back of the house. This helps to see the picture, but again, this is where I have found students want to free draw what they think it should look like, but once they see it done with perspective it makes sense. So here we use the front of the roofline as a guide to how to how to hold the ruler to make the back line.
> 12. Erase unneeded guide lines at the back of the house.
> Students can add another house, they can add mountains or clouds in the background (behind the vanishing point) or they can add lines to the street. This is a great lesson to teach about depth and students can add rocks that get lighter and smaller as they get closer to the vanishing point.
>
> E. V- birds and perspective
> I like to take a few minutes making some v-birds together. I also tell students how some art teachers do not like the "v" birds used in pictures and I ask them their opinion  like why do they think some teachers may or may not like the birds. Then we make a couple of "v" birds to show depth  some are tiny, whisper light and some are dark and bigger. Some of these lessons have led to details that have really revealed a lot about the students to me  for example, one student put in a huge flock of birds  wow, did he add a lot of birds. And I pointed it out to the student that it seemed to match their strong social skills and how they seem to get energized from groups  and also how it made their picture feel energized and all that. The student felt really tended to and seemed to beam from such a specific, positive comment. A different example came with a student that made two, simple birds  they showed depth and followed the lesson, but we talked about how quiet the picture felt  how calm and how serene the two birds made the picture feel. Little tidbits like this are great art criticism starters and also a great way to really edify young artists that thrive from the slightest encouragement (especially with vulnerable artwork). So I try to have specific comments for most artwork, but I keep it natural and real as well  and sometimes "interesting" is the perfect response. lol
> Also, with the v birds, I have found that they really give the students a chance to practice moving their hand, working with shades and pressure, and making line designs. I show them the M version of the bird and on scrap paper we have had times of just practicing and discussing different styles for a few moments.
> If time, we can make other, more realistic sketches of birds, but for some reason, my classes have had a lot of fun with v-birds.
>
> F. Abeka art books have some excellent perspective lessons.
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> G. One-point perspective lessons by Harold Olejarz here: http://www.olejarz.com/arted/perspective/
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> H. The following lesson is on my list to do this year (hopefully). It has a great City Street up version and City Street down version.
> http://www.egyptarch.com/books/freehand/learnhow2draw.pdf
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> HTH,
>
> Mrs. Prior in VA
>
> >> However I need "basics" lesson info - such as drawing techniques, perspective and composition. My students have not had this kind of Anyone have any help in these areas?
> > Thanks, Julie
> >
>
• Julie - THANKS for that nice note. I take so much away from the sharing in this group and so it is nice when I actually have a little time to bounce some ideas
Message 2 of 6 , Feb 12, 2011
Julie - THANKS for that nice note. I take so much away from the sharing in this group and so it is nice when I actually have a little time to bounce some ideas in as well!

And while on the perspective topic, I do think it is worth noting that some kids do not always "get it" right away when we say that things get larger as things move from the vanishing point. Even bright middle schoolers seem to need things shown extra clear and need to see it multiple times. And whether a small, quiet class or a bustling class of 30 - a few tend to always feel lost at first. I stopped doing the mobile home as an intro for this very reason (those floating shapes work way better for intro).

One thing that has worked me is not only showing the class on the board, but if possible - showing students one on one as needed (and multiple times if needed). I also have some students draw only three items-
that are exaggerated - tiny, small (close to VP) - medium (moving away), and large (nearer). Ahead of time I tell the class to not get frustrated and that some students will get it easier and faster than others - it really depends on the person and their brain. This seems to help too.

We are making the back wall (imaginary room) next week and I will touch base if there is any insight worth sharing!

~Mrs. Prior in VA
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> Mrs. Priorhouse-thank you for the detailed ideas. I am trying them out myself and really appreciate your sharing. Feel free to send me more if you have any thing you think is helpful.
> Take care,
> Julie
>
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