Art Class Volume 5 Product Review
Proportions for Composition
Today, I am going to share with you my Art Class Volume 5 product review. But first, I want to ask you what do you think you will receive when you have an Art Class DVD from See the Light, and Pat Knepley? If you said great instruction from an experienced art teacher who gives a biblical application, then you are correct. In this particular DVD, Pat will teach your children how to make their drawings look more real and relate God’s Word to each lesson.
It Is All about the Grounds
Do you have your art tool kit handy? If you have been following along with my product reviews of the Art Class series, you will remember what an art tool kit is. It is a must have for all artists. Having all the needed supplies in one container makes it easy when it is time for having art class in your homeschool. No more hunting around for paper, pencils, watercolors, chalk pastels, and so forth.
So, go ahead and get your art tool kit. You will need the following supplies to complete lesson 17:
Vocabulary: Horizon line, Foreground, Middle ground, and Background
Horizon line – A virtual line where the sky meets the ground
The foreground – the very front of the drawing
The middle ground – what is in the back of the foreground but not yet far away
The background – the farthest away in the drawing
Pat begins this lesson by explaining what the horizon line means and by giving examples of such. The horizon is a virtual line where the sky meets the ground. An excellent example is the The Gulf Stream painted by Winslow Homer who enjoyed painting seascapes.
Pat goes on to explain the grounds of a drawing in relationship with the horizon lines. Pat draws two horizontal lines on paper dividing the paper into thirds. This depicts the grounds of a drawing, which are:
- The foreground – the very front of the drawing (the bottom of the page)
- The middle ground – what is in the back of the foreground but not yet far away (the middle of the page)
- The background – the farthest away in the drawing (at the top of the page)
The painting Ingleside by Richard Diebenkorn is a wonderful example of the different grounds. The foreground shows the widest portion of the street. The middle ground shows the street narrowing. The background contains a hill. We would expect the horizon line to be at the top of the hill where it meets the sky. The horizon line is actually at the base of the hill.
Another painting that displays the grounds is The Cornell Farm by Edward Hicks. Mr. Hicks shows deep space with a large field by having lots of cows and horses in the foreground. The trees become smaller in the middle ground. The background shows another field in the far distance as well as the sky.
Your artists will begin this lesson’s project by drawing a horizon line on their paper. Pat shows how to create hills in the background rather than having a straight line. Your students will then add a rock and grass in the foreground. I am not a very good artist (actually I am not one at all). My drawing of a rock would be something like a round object. Pat shows how to draw a realistic-looking rock by creating jagged edges and drawing lines in 3 areas.
The next portion of the drawing is to add a winding path. Pat will show your children how to draw a wide path in the foreground and how to make the path appear smaller as it goes to the background. What the children do not realize at first is they are creating deep space in the drawing.
The last thing your children will do is to create depth by drawing a tree that passes through each of the grounds.
Pat ends this lesson by relating the hills in the drawing to Psalms 121:1-2. She sums up the verses by saying God helps us no matter what we are going through.
Supplies needed to complete this lesson:
Vocabulary word: Proportion
Proportion means all items in a drawing are the correct size in relation to all the other items around it.
A good way to help your children understand proportion is to look at Ben Shahn’s drawing, Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti. This drawing is definitely not in proportion for it shows the men’s heads to be much larger than the rest of their bodies.
Pat gives another example of proportion by showing three different sizes of sailboats. One boat is very large with a small sail. The second boat is very small with a large sail. The third boat’s size and sail are in proportion to one another.
The key to finding the right proportion is to use a pencil as a guide for measuring the size of objects. For example, an object can be as tall as ½ the length of the pencil.
The project for this lesson is to draw an apple, banana, and a mug and have them look realistic according their size. Pat does a great job of explaining how to do this. She shows the students the apple is ½ a pencil tall, the mug is ¾ of a pencil tall, and her particular banana is longer than pencil.
It is best for your children to use one of the objects, such as the apple, as a starting point. Then the rest of the objects are drawn in proportion with the apple. You will notice in my daughter’s drawing the mug is higher than the apple. By drawing the mug higher than the base of the apple, it gives the illusion of the mug being behind the apple.
Pat gives a biblical application by reading the verse from Jeremiah 31:37 to explain how important it is to God for things to be measured and how his love for us is immeasurable.
This lesson is a bit different than the others in that it is shorter in duration. You may find it best to watch the DVD in its entirety before doing the project.
You will need the following supplies to complete this lesson:
Vocabulary word: Scale
Where objects are placed in a painting and the relative scale of other objects around them, gives hints to the viewer as to the size of things in the painting.
Lesson 19 continues with another aspect of size, which is scale. To help explain what scale is, look at the painting above by Albert Bierstadt. The painting, Yosemite Valley, was done in the 1800s during the westward expansion. Painters at that time went along on the expeditions to paint what they saw so others back home could see what the west looked like.
You will notice in the painting how small the horse is in the foreground compared to the immense size of the mountains. The size of the horse gives a sense of scale of how large the mountains are.
The project for this lesson is to show the scale of a small object. This is done by drawing other known objects of differing sizes around it. You can see in the image above how the pencil, coins, eyeglasses, and a can of soda gives the sense of how small the dice is.
Above you can see how my daughter’s project turned out.
The verse for this lesson is Isaiah 54:10, which tells us about how God’s love for us is so strong and can never be shaken.
Point of View
You will need the following supplies to complete the last lesson in the Art Class Volume 5:
Object you might find under your bed
Vocabulary: Point of View
Point of view refers to how you see things, either at eyelevel, below eyelevel, or above eyelevel. Younger children may understand point of view better when it is referred to as a bird’s eye view or a worm’s eye view.
Examples of Points of View
Wayne Thiebaud, Flatland River, shows a scene from a very high point of view.
A person needs to be below eye level to give a worm’s point of view. In example, the picture above shows a worm’s eye view of the objects on a table.
The above painting is the Terrace at the Seaside, Sainte-Adresse by Claude Monet. The point of view is from the artist looking down on the restaurant’s patio.
By the way, can you guess where the horizon line is in the above painting? Pat explains that the horizon line is always at eye level. So, that makes the horizon line in this painting high.
The picture above shows a bird’s eye view of someone’s breakfast.
Your children may choose any of the demonstrations Pat gives in this lesson as their project. I suggest your children go around the house looking for different points of view and draw what they find most interesting.
The Bible verse for this lesson is Deuteronomy 10:21. God performed those amazing wonders you saw with your own eyes.
Sometimes it is frustrating for children when their drawings do not turn out like they had hoped. It is important for your children to understand the purpose of these projects is to focus on learning and applying the techniques taught, and not to worry about the details of their drawings.
You are welcome to learn more about the other art curriculum and free resources offered by See the Light on their website. Be sure to join their newsletter and blog mailing lists. You will receive wonderful thank you gifts for doing so.
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Okay it’s your turn. Leave a comment letting me know which of the projects above your children will want to do first?
Image Credits: Images of Paintings taken from See the Light’s Art Class Volume 5 DVD on my television
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