Perspective on Picasso

Purpose

In this unit students develop a further understanding of two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional shapes through creating drawings and artworks that explore shapes from different viewpoints.

Specific Learning Outcomes
  • List the features of common three-dimensional shapes.
  • Recognise that the faces of 3D shapes are 2D plane shapes.
  • Explore and understand the defining features of a prism.
  • Draw (freehand) common 3D shapes from different viewpoints.
  • Represent different viewpoints of the constructions with drawings on isometric paper.
  • Create cube constructions from viewpoint drawings made by another student.
  • Become familiar with and describe the features of a Picasso portrait and of cubism.
  • Create a portrait in the Picasso style.
  • Appreciate and write about their own artwork and that of one other student, recognising the influence of shape and viewpoint (or perspective).
Description of Mathematics

In level two, students have been learning what is meant by ‘dimension’, and coming to understand that three-dimensional shapes are made up of flat or plane shapes that have two dimensions. The language associated with the features of 2D and 3D shapes is becoming familiar.

At level three, students are developing more depth in their understanding of the properties of 2D and 3D shapes, including prisms. By having opportunities to make models of prisms and to cut through these, they come to understand that a prism is a solid shape with a fixed cross section, unlike some other shapes such as pyramids or cones that have variable cross sections.

As they consolidate their understanding of 3D shapes, they recognise that their faces are plane shapes, and that their properties combine to define the 3D shapes they comprise. Students learn more about 3D shapes as they create two-dimensional drawings of three-dimensional models and interpret the drawings of others. As they consider the plan, front and side views, they come to appreciate that we can view objects from different viewpoints or perspectives and that their representations on paper, in two dimensions, can look very different.

In this unit of work, these understandings combine to inform the student’s appreciation at a simple level, of some of the features of Picasso’s portraits and of his defining art style, cubism.

Associated Achievement Objectives

Art
Visual Arts

  • Explore some art-making conventions, applying knowledge of elements and selected principles through the use of materials and processes.
  • Develop and revisit visual ideas, in response to a variety of motivations, observation, and imagination, supported by the study of artists’ works.
  • Describe the ideas their own and other’s objects and images communicate.
Required Resource Materials
Three-dimensional solid shapes: sphere, cylinder, cone, cube, cuboid, hexagonal prism, triangular prism, square based pyramid

Small plain cubes

Play dough

Plastic knives

Paper

Pencils

Isometric paper (Attachment 1)

Interlinking cubes

Chart paper

Art paper

Pastels

Activity

Learning activities

Whilst this unit is presented as sequence of five sessions, more sessions than this may be required. It is also expected that any session may extend beyond one teaching period.

Session 1

This session is about students becoming familiar with the defining features of common three-dimensional shapes and representing these shapes with freehand drawings from different viewpoints.

The learning focus includes having students:

  • List the features of common three-dimensional shapes.
  • Recognise that the faces of 3D shapes are 2D plane shapes.
  • Explore and understand the defining features of a prism.
  • Draw (freehand) common 3D shapes from different viewpoints.

Activity 1

  1. Make available pencils and paper.
    Display a diagram of a coloured circle.
    Give student pairs 1 minute to write all of the things that this circle could be.
    Have student pairs share their ideas with the class.
     
  2. Display solid sphere, cylinder and cone shapes.

    Ask, “Could this (circle) be a drawing of a sphere or a cone or a cylinder?” Have students discuss this and reach agreement that this could be a bird’s eye view of a sphere or a cylinder or a view of a cone looking at it from underneath, (or perhaps from the top if the point were very fine).
    Write ‘viewpoint’ on the class chart, agree on a definition, discuss and identify the faces on each shape.

Activity 2

Add to the solid shape display, a cube, a cuboid, an hexagonal prism, a triangular prism, and a square based pyramid. Create a chart, writing on it the names of each of the shapes and the headings, faces, edges and vertices. Model and record the features of at least 2 of the shapes.

 

ShapeFacesEdgesVertices
sphere100
cube6128
cylinder   
cone   
cuboid   

Make play dough and plastic knives available.
Have students create and complete their own chart (individually or in pairs), making models of each shape with play dough as required, to explore and confirm their features.

 

Activity 3

Have each student choose at least two of the shapes that they have made, and make freehand drawings of each, from at least two viewpoints. Have them share these with a partner, and talk about what they have done, using the language of faces, edges and vertices.

Activity 4

Have students select a pyramid and prism dough shape, and make two vertical cuts through each shape. Discuss the results, eliciting the explanation that the faces of the cuts of the pyramid change, whilst the prism faces remain unchanged. Agree on a definition of a prism.

Activity 5

Conclude the session by having students draw one of the prisms from at least two viewpoints. Have them write about what they have done using the language of faces, edges and vertices, and write their own definition of a prism.

Session 2

This session is about exploring cube constructions, representing these from different viewpoints on isometric paper, and interpreting the drawings of others.

SLOs:

  • Make simple constructions using interlocking cubes.
  • Represent different viewpoints of the constructions with drawings on isometric paper.
  • Create cube constructions from viewpoint drawings made by another student.

Activity 1

Begin by having students share their work from Session 1, Activty 5.
Explain that the students will be using isometric paper to help them to make their drawings more precise.
Introduce the task by showing a cube, selecting a viewpoint and modeling how to represent this on isometric paper.

Make a cube and isometric paper (Attachment 1) available to each student.
Have students select a viewpoint for their cube, and then represent this on their own paper.
Discuss any challenges that arise. Have students draw the cube from another viewpoint.

Activity 2

Make available isometric paper and interlocking cubes, sufficient for each student to have nine. Have students join the cubes to make a shape of interest, then draw this shape from at least two viewpoints.

Activity 3

Have students display their shapes and pass in their isometric drawings. Mix-up the drawings and redistribute them randomly to the students who must then locate the model that matches the drawing that they have been given. Confirm their matches.

Activity 4

Have students dismantle their shapes into single cubes. Collect in the drawings once more, shuffle these and redistribute them. Have students construct the model shape from another student’s isometric drawing.

Activity 5

Conclude the session by discussing the process, having students talk about the representation of shapes from different viewpoints and highlighting the geometric language.

Session 3

This session is about exploring a selection of Picasso portraits, identifying some distinguishing stylistic characteristics.

SLOs:

  • Become familiar with and describe the characterising features of a Picasso portrait.
  • Understand some of the defining features of cubism.
  • Write a description of the influence of geometry in a Picasso portrait.

Activity 1

Write Pablo Picasso on the class chart. Brainstorm and record student knowledge of the artist. Show his picture, and share the information in Attachment 2, or set a short time limit and have the students research pertinent information about the artist.

Activity 2

  1. Make available to student pairs, one of the pictures in Attachment 3, paper and pencils. Have students discuss their Picasso portrait, and record all the things that they feel and notice about it.
  2. Have students pair share their feelings and observations and agree on common features.
  3. As a class, discuss their feelings about their artworks. Record these responses, (like because….., dislike because….., puzzled because…., etc.)
  4. Discuss and record on the class chart the features that they notice about the artworks.
    These are likely to include:
    • You can see the person from a front viewpoint and a side viewpoint (profile) in the same picture
    • There are geometric shapes in the pictures
    • There are many light and dark contrasts (chiaroscuro is the arrangement of light and dark elements in a pictorial work of art)
    • Black is used to outline shapes and to draw features
    • The pictures are not realistic – they are not how people really look
    • The pictures appear to be fragmented, or broken up into parts
    • They are a combination of two-dimensional flat plane shapes and some realistic rounded and shaded three-dimensional images.

Activity 3

  1. Write ‘cubism’ on the class chart and have students share their knowledge of this art form. Agree that many of the features they have identified in 2 (above) are defining features of cubism. Explain that Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque began the innovative and new art movement, cubism, in the early 20th century (the 1900s).
  2. Make a copy of one of the pictures from Attachment 3 available to each student. Have them write a description on the picture and the artist, synthesising the information that has been presented so far about both and including references to geometry and viewpoints.

Activity 4

Display both photographs of Picasso (Attachment 2).
Explain that in the next session, each student will be choosing one of the photographs and creating their own portrait of Picasso based upon the photograph. The portrait will be in the cubist style.
Have students begin a draft design of their Picasso portrait.

Activity 5

Conclude the session by having students share their work.
Ask each student to bring to the next session a photograph of a familiar person or pet that they would like to use as the subject of an artwork.

Session 4

This session is about using the style of cubism to create a portrait of Picasso, and begin an artwork of a person or pet significant to the student.

SLOs:

  • Create at least one portrait in the Picasso style.
  • Give feedback to other students on the cubist influence evident in their artworks.

Activity 1

Begin the session by reviewing the features of cubism listed in Session 3, Activity 2, Step 4.
Display both pictures of Picasso (Attachment 2).
Check that each student has selected one of the pictures and is creating a draft portrait of Picasso. The portrait is in the cubist style.
Have students share the progress on their draft portraits of Picasso.

Activity 2

Make available art paper and pastels.
Have students begin their Picasso portraits in a pastel medium. Stop at significant points to review progress, checking against the listed cubist criteria.

Activity 3

As students complete their works, have them self-check and peer evaluate the works, referring to the cubist features.
As appropriate, have students begin on their second artwork of the person or pet that is significant to them.

Activity 4

Conclude the session with a gallery walk for the students to appreciate and give feedback on each other’s Picasso portrait artworks.
As a class, recognise those artworks that successfully and strongly show the influence of cubism. Look, in particular for representations from different viewpoints and the use of shapes in the fragmented (or disjointed) forms. Have each student identify improvements they might make to their own artwork.

Session 5

This session is about using self-evaluation and peer feedback to inform a second artwork in the cubist style.

SLO:

  • Appreciate and write about their own artwork and that of one other student, recognising the influence of shape and viewpoint (or perspective).

Activity 1

Begin this session by having students review feedback and self-evaluation, using this to inform their design of their second artwork of the person or pet that is significant to them personally.
Stop at significant points to review progress, checking against the listed criteria and against their identified intended improvements. As students complete their works, have them self-check and peer evaluate the works.

Activity 2

Upon completion of the second artwork, have each student write a statement about the way in which the work has been created with reference to the cubist features, and whether the final work has captured the character of the special subject (the person or the pet), and if so, how.

Activity 3

Conclude the session by discussing the ‘geometry’ in their art and in the art of Picasso, referring to the learning in Sessions 1 to 3.

Attachments

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