Shapes, Cut Paper and Skyscrapers: Homeschool Art Lessons

In March we studied another element of art: Shape.

We discussed the types of shapes – geometric (precise and regular shapes like squares, triangles, and rectangles) and biomorphic  which means life-form (shapes found in nature, rounded and irregular, things that grow, flow and move). Using the lesson on Shape on the National Gallery of Art website, we looked at a slide show of work by Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian and Edward Steichen, and determined the types of shapes used in each piece. Then studied the cut paper piece by Henri Matisse entitled “Beasts of the Sea“, which was also the inspiration for the day’s project… Think of a favorite vacation or someplace you’d like to go and, like Henri Matisse, use colored paper cut into shapes to represent that memory or thought. Here’s what the kids came up with…

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The next week we continued with shapes, this time studying shapes found in New York skyscrapers and famous buildings. This lesson was inspired by DeepSpaceSparkle’s skyscraper line drawing lesson. The project entailed choosing a background paper color and drawing at least two skyscrapers/buildings on it with black Sharpie, leaving room for one more building which they were to draw on white paper. I asked the kids to choose a favorite famous building for their white drawing (that wasn’t part of the lesson specifically). Then they drew in the building details – windows, doors, etc. The white building was then cut out and glued the colored paper in the space they’d left for it. And here are the results…

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Neither of these lessons were easy (for me) to adapt for our preschooler, and the 1st grader had some trouble with the skyscraper project (but I think she was just having a bad day all around.) But the older kids seemed to have fun with both lessons and neither of them took more than an hour.

Next element of art… Form!

Posted in Blog Posts, Fabric of Life, Homeschool Tagged with: , ,
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  1. […] This week we experimented with Form. We started out talking about what a form is (a 3-dimensional Shape, a Shape inflated with air like a balloon) and what Geometric Shapes are called when they are forms […]

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