Serving Art Educators
and Students Since 1994
Submitted by: Rachel Smith, Barrett Middle School Urban Academy in Columbus, OH
UNIT: Painting - Cubism - Perspective
Grade Level: Middle School
This lesson worked really well when completed immediately after a perspective drawing lesson. Students seemed to more confident in discussing the Cubist works after learning about perspective drawing. Many statements compared and contrasted perspective drawing and cubism. With this lesson, I have tried to break down the conceptual underpinnings of Cubism into concrete procedures to help students better understand the genre.
1. Students will draw a chair from five different perspectives.
2. Students will use the shapes from their drawings to create a cubist collage.
3. Students will paint their collage monochromatically.
Chairs - assortment of wood chairs and classroom chairs, white Drawing Paper, Drawing Pencils, Kneaded Rubber Erasers, Scissors, White Glue, Tempera Paint, Brushes, water dishes, Black Permanent Markers
Performance-Based Assessment Strategies:
1. Five Drawings
A-- Student has drawn a chair from five different perspectives, using only line to make the shapes of the chair. Drawing was done with outstanding craftsmanship.
B—Student has drawn a chair from five different perspectives with decent craftsmanship
C—Student has drawn the chair from less than five different perspectives
D—Student has drawn the chair from less than three different perspectives
F—Student has not attempted to draw the chair
A—Student has incorporated at least three shapes from each drawing (15 cut out shapes). These shapes have been cut and glued with outstanding craftsmanship.
B—Student has incorporated at least three shapes from each drawing (15 shapes). These shapes have been cut and glued with decent craftsmanship.
C—Student has incorporated less than 15 shapes or has included 15 shapes but does not have at least three shapes from each drawing.
D—Student has incorporated two or less shapes from each drawing, all shapes from the same drawing or less than 5 shapes total.
F—Student has not attempted to put together shapes from the drawings to create the collage.
A—Student has painted their collage monochromatically (only one color) and has used five different values of that color. Student has used both tints (lighter value) and shades (darker value). The painting has been done with outstanding craftsmanship.
B—Student has painted their collage monochromatically and has used five different values of that color.
Student has used both tints and shades. The painting was done with decent craftsmanship.
C—Student has painted their collage with more than one color (not monochromatically), has used less than five values of one color or has not used both tints and shades.
D—Student has not met two of the following three requirements: (1) not monochromatic, (2) less than five values, (3) has not used both tints and shades
F—Student has not attempted to paint the collage
Considerations for Special Populations:
Students may work with larger shapes in the chair.
1. Recap (from previous perspective drawing lesson): Linear perspective is drawing from just one perspective (from one vantage point). That is a very left-brain way of drawing because it is very logical and mathematical. This project will break most of the rules that we just learned about perspective, which is what artists, Pablo Picasso and George Braque, did in the early nineteen hundreds.
2. Introduction to Cubism:
Cubism (a name suggested by Henri Matisse in 1909) is a non-objective approach to painting developed originally in France by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque around 1906. The early, "pre-Cubist" period (to 1906) is characterized by emphasizing the process of construction, of creating a pictorial rhythm, and converting the represented forms into the essential geometric shapes: the cube, the sphere, the cylinder, and the cone. Between 1909 and 1911, the analysis of human forms and still-lifes (hence the name -- Analytical Cubism) led to the creation of a new stylistic system which allowed the artists to transpose the three-dimensional subjects into the flat images on the surface of the canvas. An object, seen from various points of view, could be reconstructed using particular separate "views" which overlapped and intersected. The result of such a reconstruction was a summation of separate temporal moments on the canvas. Picasso called this reorganized form the "sum of destructions," that is, the sum of the fragmentations. Since color supposedly interfered in purely intellectual perception of the form, the Cubist palette was restricted to a narrow, almost monochromatic scale, dominated by grays and browns.
3. Students will draw the chair on the top of their table from their seat. They will use only lines to make the basic shapes of the chairs.
4. Students will then choose four more perspectives to create four more chair drawings. Some ideas may be from the top, bottom, side, front, back, or an endless possibility of odd angles. (There will be one chair on the floor for students to draw from the top or bottom).
5. Once, students have their five drawings finished, they will cut out the shapes of their drawing to create a collage. (They will be using scissors). Once they have their collage designed, they will glue down the shapes.
6. After their collage is glued together, they will paint their collages monochromatically, using at least five values (both shades and tints). They will explore ways to create depth with color technique.
7. Optional: Outline with black permanent marker.
8. Extension: Try drawing an object in the room in the cubist style without cutting different drawings.
Student draw chairs (or objects of still life) on newsprint from multiple views. Cut out and rearrange on newsprint. Tack into place when satisfied. Trace new composition onto good quality paper (heavy weight drawing paper, Tag board or poster board) using Seral transfer paper. Go over lines - then paint as above.
This description is from: © Alexander Boguslawski 1998-2000
Head of Woman (1924)
What two different perspectives do you see in this artwork? Profile (nose) and frontal view (head).
The Weeping Woman (1937)
How many perspectives do you see in this artwork? There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer.
Studio of Milliner (1926)
Even more perspective are included in this painting. This painting is monochromatic. What do you think that means? It means only using one color, but varying the value. What is a value? The lightness or darkness of a color.
Glass on a Table (1909-10)
How many perspectives of the glass do you see?
The Pedestal Table (1911)