Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2nd Grade Art Lesson: M.C. Escher Form Pyramid

2nd Grade Art Lesson: M.C. Escher Form Pyramid
For my art 2nd grade lesson today, we did a project that incorporates M C Esher's work.  We discussed the transformation of 2 dimensional art to 3 dimensional art through form, one of the 7 elements of art.

We are spending the year going over all seven of them here: Line Shape Form Space Color Value Texture. 

I started by asking if anyone knew what form was?  One little hand shot up with an answer of cylinder, which is correct.

I then showed the kids a piece of flat paper and explained it was 2 dimensional.  However, by curving the sides, I was able to make it 3 dimensional by giving it the form of a cylinder. Artists use form to create sculptures and 3D art. Form names include: cylinders, cones, spheres, cubes, pyramids, and prisms.

I then shared a little history about Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898 – 1972), usually referred to as M. C. Escher, who was a Dutch graphic artist, known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. His artwork featured impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations.

M.C. Escher 1929 self-portrait
He visited Alhambra, a castle in Spain, in 1922 and was mesmerized by the repeating patterns, converting them to tessellations in his art. 

I showed slides of Moorish tiles, like the one above he must have seen, to explain his evolutions of style from taking repeating patters that included moons and starts, to adding plants and animals.

M.C. Escher Lizard/Fish/Bat (No. 85) 1952
I then showed more slides of his work that started to incorporate movement, giving it a sense of fluidity.
M.C. Escher Swans 1956

He took this a step further by adding humans that lived in their own separate lives, unaware of the other humans around them, but caught in an endless cycle of movement.
M.C. Escher Relativity, 1953

M.C. Escher Belvedere 1958

After out art history lesson, I moved on to what we were going to create.  I gave them a pyramid print out I found online.

I asked them to draw a design that is the exact same on each side.  They had to do this by first choosing one color and drawing the exact same thing on all four sides.  They then choose another color and do the same.  Once the pyramid was colored, they would get scissors to cut along the solid line.

The complete project will have four exact sides, which continue into the next side, into an infinite loop.  I also pointed out that they will have finished pyramid sculptures at home* that were made from a single sheet of flat 2D paper.

(*I decided to let them glue the tabs to close the pyramids at home because I wasn't too confident that they could get them there safely.  I told them to keep the pyramids fat in their take home folder, but once they got home, they just needed to add a tiny bit of glue or tape to the tabs to close them up.)

Here are a few samples of their masterpieces.

Till next time, be creative!

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