Space was the subject in Explorations in Art. We toured the gallery and discussed how famous artists such as Millet, Seurat, and others used perspective to create a sense of space. Students learned about both linear perspective and aerial/atmospheric perspective.
The Gleaners, 1857, by Jean-Francois Millet. Oil on Canvas.
Young artists learned the meaning of a vanishing point, and how this is used to create perspective in a work of art. We talked about how the two (vanishing point and perspective), working together, tell the brain that the artwork makes sense. For instance, objects that are closer appear larger and more detailed than those farther away.
Wheatfields, c. 1670, by Jacob van Ruisdael. Oil on Canvas.
Students took turns finding the vanishing point in each work of art. We also acknowledged that sometimes a work of art has more than one vanishing point. This is found in two-point perspective, three-point perspective, and so on!
Peasant Wedding, 1568, by Pieter Bruegel, the Elder.
Oil on Oakwood.
We talked about an "easy" way to create a picture in perspective, by deciding on a vanishing point, then drawing light lines leading to that point. This became the base, or underdrawing, for the perspective drawings we did in class. While this certainly makes the process easier, the project can still be quite tricky! Everyone did fantastic work, though, as evidenced here :)
As in every class, we took time to discuss the palette of each work, our observations about the composition, and interesting tidbits about the various artists, their influences on those around them, and those who came later.
Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884-1886.
by Georges Seurat. Oil on Canvas.
For instance, we talked about Seurat's invention of pointillism, and the painstaking technique used to create his beautiful, Neo-Impressionistic works.
Young artists learned that The Gleaners is considered a very important work in Art History, and that Millet's composition was copied by, or greatly influenced, many other artists.
The Fall of Icarus, 1555, by Pieter Bruegel, the Elder.
Oil on Canvas.
We also discussed Pieter Bruegel, the Elder's work, and how he painted works which illustrated stories, myths, fables, and also the everyday world around him in his genre paintings. Students learned that he was the father of Pieter Bruegel, the Younger, an artist we discussed in an earlier class this semester!