INTEGRATING the curriculum B Shelby Kenya 16 > m a r c h 2 0 1 4 • 81 Y E A R S > elgian artist René Magritte (1898– 1967) added a surrealistic twist to our perspective drawings. After an introduction, practice with the basic one-point perspective, and a review of related math vocabulary (converging, parallel, vertical and horizontal lines; right, acute and obtuse angles), this project began with a discussion of surrealist art and Magritte. Then I presented a PowerPoint featuring images of Magritte’s work, many with a playful form of surrealism that juxtaposes objects into compositions, relying mainly on aerial or onepoint perspective. Students identified the telltale signs of aerial and one-point perspective, and learned that Magritte used one-point perspective to do “the impossible” in his artwork and make it look more realistic. We also discussed the “surrealistic” aspect in each painting. The presentation ended with The Listening Chamber—Magritte’s famous painting of a giant green apple sitting in the middle of an ordinary room. Or, was it a regular-sized apple in a miniature room? Through his use of onepoint perspective and size, Magritte plays with what we think we know about the relationship of the apple to the room. The next challenge was for students to find the vanishing point and “orthogonal” lines that go to the vanishing point from the floor, ceiling and window in the image. We then discussed the falls on. We then looked around the room and found shadows of many colors, which depended on the surfaces on which they fell. On the handout, students used crayons or colored pencils to Poinsot e d n li experiment with color p am by Nan T mixing in the shading of the apple and the shadows on the floor, shading and shadow in the painting. wall and ceiling. Some used black for The only light source is the window, so shadow, which was allowed as long as it’s important to notice how the light they colored lightly and mixed the black falls on and around the apple to make well with the color of the apple, floor, shadow on the floor, wall and ceiling. wall and ceiling. These shadows anchor the apple to the Students also experimented with floor and provide a size reference to the room. If not for the shadow, the apple would simply appear to be floating close to the viewer. THIS WAS A GOOD TIME to dem- onstrate how shadow and the color of the surface it falls on “mix together.” I explained to students that shadow does not exist apart from the surface it x www.ar tsandactivities.com
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