Making Connections

Have you ever had a light bulb moment?  Today’s student work unveiled a very cool connection that could be made using a few materials…

The topic of today’s session focused on design analysis.  You may remember an earlier post, Analyze This! , which involved making connections between the elements and principles of design.  While viewing Starry Night by Van Gogh, students in today’s class were asked to figure out how the artist used movement in his composition.  In order to help them try to ‘see’ movement in the artwork, I tried two new ideas:

Although we don’t have a Smart Board, I could still use a projector to cast the image of Starry Night (from Google Art Project) on my white board.  By allowing the students (who worked in groups) to use dry erase markers, they could ‘draw’ on top of the image to sort out their thoughts on movement.  They followed the curvy horizontal lines in the sky and across the mountains, the strong vertical lines up the large tree, and the repeated shapes throughout the composition.

The second picture shows how we used a sheet of plexiglass on top of a poster of the same artwork.  Again, dry erase markers were used to help students explore Van Gogh’s creation.

Our ‘aha!’ moment is shown here:

When we turned off the projector, we found a simplified version of the artwork that clearly showed the students’ observations.  Each group then talked about their drawings and worked collaboratively to create a clear analysis.  The activity certainly encouraged cooperation and productive discussion!

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