Here is an engaging lesson in perspective that had the students enjoying the process AND the result.
I began with a standard illustration of one point perspective – a road with fenceposts and telephone poles decreasing in size toward a vanishing point. We talked about scale of objects, and how that changes when they are near or far. Terms such as foreground, middle ground, and background were reviewed. It was not nearly as dry as it sounds – this was accompanied by enthusiastic back and forth movements on my part to illustrate the point!
I had my own example piece to show them where we were heading. First, crimp the page slightly at the top edge to mark the middle, make a small dot for the vanishing point. Then, draw a slightly wavy horizon line about 3/4’s of the way up the page. I had them draw lines out from there to mark the fields – not straight; this is a rolling landscape …
After marking it out in pencil, I had them go over the lines in black oil pastel, which would act as a resist later on.
Previous to the class, I roughly cut out various pictures out of magazines, and organized them into 3 groups: small, medium and large. I gave each student 3 pictures, and their task was to cut them carefully in outline and then figure out where to place them: Fore, middle, or background.
The last step is where the fun really begins: PAINT!! I encouraged them to be creative and try different designs and textures to make a patchwork landscape. Had any of them ever been in a plane and seen the fields below? Or looked at a crazy quilt? Bright colours were just fine, not limited to earth colours at all. (It was important that the painting of the landscape happen after glueing the pictures, so the overlap of paint makes them look part of the scene, not pasted on.) Trees on the horizon, small and stylized – remember, it’s a matter of scale.
Do this one again? You bet!
Fall 2011 / Ferndale School
I adapted this lesson (only slightly) from one I found at www.kidsartists.blogspot.ca