B ecause they are drawing on a flat, two-dimensional surface, students must learn how to create the illusion of depth for their drawings to look “real” and three-dimensional. This lesson began with a simple explanation of perspective: one-point is viewed from the front of an object, two-point is viewed from a corner. Holding up a box, I asked students how many sides they saw, based on their eye level (horizon line). I then demonstrated how to draw the box in both onepoint and two-point perspective, how to shade the box based on one light source and how to render cast shadows. In their sketchbooks, students drew a rectangular prism below the horizon line, based on one light source. Once they understood and mastered this, it was easy for them to understand our second form—the cube—which they drew on a fresh page in their sketchbooks. Next came the pyramid, which they drew in one-point perspective and twopoint with one light source, for shading. For the cylinder, students looked at a water bottle, bucket and roll of paper towels, observing how the cylinder shape looked above, on and below eye level. Then, following the curve of the form, they added values and the cast shadow. The last form students drew was the sphere, they had the toughest time with this one. They wanted to color it all in with their pencils; to help them fight this urge, I had them lightly draw where the highlight was on the sphere, informing them that shading should not appear in this section. Students then rendered the lightest values first, then the middle and dark values, followed by reflected light and shadow. The final drawings brought all these shapes together, and were done with white Prismacolor® pencil on black construction paper (we used 12" x 18"). I set up a still life with boxes, bottles, blocks, balls and cones to represent the forms they had just practiced drawing. The arrangement was illuminated with studio lights, and the classroom lights were turned off. Students selected the portion of the still life that most interested them, and started drawing, filling the entire sheet of paper with their composition. The experience of drawing the individual forms helped the students feel more comfortable as they added value in reverse for their final project. It was great exercise for their higherlevel thinking skills, and the terrific results were displayed throughout the school. n Art teacher Sandi Pippin recently retired after a 38-year career. Her final teaching assignment was at Lanham Creek High School in Houston, Texas. DRAWING FORMS working in reverse by Sandi Pippin Students used their high-level thinking skills for this assignment. LEARNING OBJECTIVES High-school students will … • • draw a cylinder, sphere, pyramid, cube and rectangular prism, then create a composition using the five forms. add blended values to the five forms based on one light source. NATIONAL ART STANDARDS • • • • www.ar tsandactivities.com Understanding and applying media, techniques and processes. Using knowledge of structures and functions. MATERIALS Sketchbooks, black construction paper Pencils, erasers, white Prismacolor® pencils 23 x 81 Y E A R S • march 2014
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