Category: STEM/STEAM Projects

STEAM Project Ideas from the Greats – Leonardo Da Vinci on Pinterest and Twitter

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Pinterest Boards:

Leonardo Da Vinci board created by Therese Allen

Study the science of art and the art of science. (Leonardo da Vinci) board created by Cynthia Madanski

Leonardo da Vinci Project board created by Elizabeth Stark Pardue

STEAM Project Ideas from the Greats – Leonardo Da Vinci on Pinterest and Twitter

STEAM Project Ideas from the Greats – Perspective with Leonardo Da Vinci

(Concept: perspective)

One-point perspective is a great concept to master.

The concept is math. Pure math. But the creative result is nothing less than stunning.

Think of one-point perspective as looking into a tunnel:

battery

© Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York / Brooklyn Battery Tunnel

The lines formed by edges of the wall, road, and ceiling all fade back to a central point.

Look at the simplified version below:

persp

simplified

The purpose of perspective is to fool the eye into thinking that a page has three dimensions. 

Up close? Things appear bigger. Just like in the real world. If you look at a pencil in your hand, it looks, well, pencil sized.

If the pencil is on the far side of the room, it looks like a toothpick.

So the trick with perspective is to draw objects from large to small as they reach the farthest-away part of the page – called the vanishing point. Here is our tunnel drawing with some objects getting smaller as they go back towards the vanishing point:

vanishing point

So forget about my little drawings (if you possibly can. They are so fabulous) and take a look below at this study by Leonardo Da Vinci:

drawing-1024

Study for Adoration of the Magi, Leonardo Da Vinci / image in the public domain / Library of Congress

You can see some of the lines of perspective emphasized below:

sampelvan

vanishing point

Notice how the lines of perspective all fan out from the vanishing point. It looks like a tiled floor.

The lines are not just drawn randomly about. If they start at the vanishing point and go to the edge of the work area, they will appear in perspective.

drawin-no

left: yes right: not so much

Project Idea:

Simple steps to drawing a simple room. You may do one or both pages.

Please note: This is a sketch worksheet and not a final design. But I want to have as many projects out to you as possible before the winter break. (Guaranteed I will sneak back on this post and update the worksheets very soon.)

stepone

step1Look at these Tweets about the mathematics of perspective:

 

STEAM Project Ideas from the Greats – Perspective with Leonardo Da Vinci

STEAM Project Ideas from the Greats – Mondrian, Grids, and Art

I dream about grids. Well, sometimes I dream about shoes and running out of bread and all that stuff, but often I dream about grids. I like them. Whenever it is time to make a new project for this site, the first thought is “What if I did a grid with this or that… ”

I felt very at home living in NYC because of the grid. I was living inside a coordinate geometry problem. For example, if I just go x blocks east then y blocks north I will get to the coffee shop.

For this reason, I lit up when I first saw Broadway Boogie Woogie by Piet Mondrian:

piet

Broadway Boogie Woogie © Piet Mondrian via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain). Can be viewed on display at the Museum of Modern Art – New York, NY

It is a painting that evokes the feeling of a city, with the blocks and intersections, and buildings. But it also gives the viewer a sigh of relief because it is built upon a grid pattern. It is easy on the eye, and easy to understand. See the example:

gridsample

See how the artist used a grid

But a painting on a grid does not have to be about a city.

How about a grid painting of farmland? Or a small town? Look at the perfect grid pattern of these farms in Indiana:

indiana

Indiana Farmland © By Wjmummert [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Project:

Design a favorite place on a grid.

  1. Download the graph paper below. Choose the size that works for your student:

inchgraph

graph-half2. Discuss what place your student would like to design on a graph. Suburb? City? Something from their imagination?

See some quick samples below:

ideas

Encourage the student to break boundaries if that works. Can they add cars, trees, houses? Have fun!

 

STEAM Project Ideas from the Greats – Mondrian, Grids, and Art

ART Project Ideas from the Greats – Color Schemes with the Masters

Sometimes when I look at a photograph or a painting, I feel as if I am in the picture. Even movies. I was watching Star Wars IV last weekend, and realized how each scene evokes a sense of being there. The oranges and beiges of Tatooine under that crystal blue sky. The cool blacks and violets of the Death Star.

So I thought it would be fun to explore the idea of color schemes by looking at the works of the masters. Try this with your student. You might be surprised at what they come up with!

1. The image below is a landscape.

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 - 1890 ), Green Wheat Fields, Auvers, 1890, oil on canvas, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon

© National Gallery of Art/ Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 – 1890 ), Green Wheat Fields, Auvers, 1890, oil on canvas, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon

Some color ideas

Some color ideas

Have your student look at the colors. Is the artist using every color under the rainbow, or has he chosen just a few? Can your student find crayons to match? Try creating a piece of artwork with these colors and see how it looks.

2. The image below is also a landscape.

 

Paul Gauguin (French, 1848 - 1903 ), Haystacks in Brittany, 1890, oil on canvas, Gift of the W. Averell Harriman Foundation in memory of Marie N. Harriman

© National Gallery of Art / Paul Gauguin (French, 1848 – 1903 ), Haystacks in Brittany, 1890, oil on canvas, Gift of the W. Averell Harriman Foundation in memory of Marie N. Harriman

Some color ideas

Some color ideas

But have your student look at the colors. What has this artist added to the scheme? See the reds and oranges? How do they change the feeling of the painting? Are the blues and greens the same as the first one, or different? Select crayons to match and get to work!

3. The image below is a portrait.

 

Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606 - 1669 ), Self-Portrait, 1659, oil on canvas, Andrew W. Mellon Collection

© National Gallery of Art / Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606 – 1669 ), Self-Portrait, 1659, oil on canvas, Andrew W. Mellon Collection

Some color ideas

Some color ideas

Do we have the same colors as in the landscapes, or is this one completely different? Can your student find crayons to match? Have him/her try creating a portrait with these colors. How does it look? Does it have a mood to it?

4. The image below is also a portrait.

Auguste Renoir (French, 1841 - 1919 ), Mademoiselle Sicot, 1865, oil on canvas, Chester Dale Collection

© National Gallery of Art / Auguste Renoir (French, 1841 – 1919 ), Mademoiselle Sicot, 1865, oil on canvas, Chester Dale Collection

Some color ideas

Some color ideas

How does this compare to the other portrait? Do the colors have a different feel? Can you find crayons to match? Try coloring something with this color palette and see what it looks like.

This can be easily extended by looking at art or photographs over the next weeks.

Think about the colors used in your student’s favorite shows or books. What are the main colors in a show about outer space? A book about the desert? How do they look to you? Do the colors make sense to you? Can you try the colors in your own artwork?

Have fun with this.

And definitely check out the National Gallery of Art Image Archive. Many of them are free to download, and it is a great educational source. (Note: The Gallery shows paintings from the masters, so there may be some, ahem, figures. Check first for what you find appropriate before showing your children.)

 

 

ART Project Ideas from the Greats – Color Schemes with the Masters

ART Project Ideas from the Greats – Letters with Herb Lubalin

Letters Project

Inspired by the work of Herb Lubalin

A quick dig through Google images reveals the nimble genius of Herb Lubalin. (Caution if searching with children: there are one or two risqué magazine cover images out there, so check ahead for what you find appropriate.)

It appeared that he was having fun and that he gave himself permission to experiment. A common idea of his was to play with the idea that the words themselves could illustrate the idea. For example:

Mother and child (below) features a child within the letter O:

Mother & Child - © Herb Lubalin / Tom Carnase, 1965

Mother & Child – © Herb Lubalin / Tom Carnase, 1965

And Beards (below) uses the letters to draw a beard:

© Herb Lubalin / from book Beards by Reginald Reynolds 1949

© Herb Lubalin / from book Beards by Reginald Reynolds 1949

 

Project: Using letters to illustrate an idea

– pick a favorite word

– brainstorm. How is it possible to use the letters of the word to illustrate what the word means?

I have pasted a couple of ideas below:

lettersmape

Not my best work, but you get the idea!

– get  to work. It may take several tries, or even several words, but all the while your student will be exercising his/her creative thinking muscles. Additionally, your student will be embracing letter forms.

Make a fun extension of the project by looking at logos you see in the coming weeks. Do any of them incorporate this design idea? How about the little arrow everyone eventually notices in the FedEx logo?

Look at these. Many of them use text to illustrate the concept. Others use imagery, but still a great read.

 

ART Project Ideas from the Greats – Letters with Herb Lubalin

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