# Art teachers...I need help

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mmswm, Mar 16, 2009.

1. ### mmswmModerator

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Mar 16, 2009

One of the things I use to teach systems of equations with more than two equations is the vanishing point in paintings. I've been using a couple of DaVinci paintings (madonna on the rocks, madonna on the yarnwinder), but I'm tired of them. I need paintings that have clear lines going into the vanishing point, be relatively uncluttered, and have no more than two vanishing points (though preferably one). Any thoughts?

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Mar 17, 2009

No, but I am going to look up the mentioned paintings to learn exactly what you mean.

4. ### TeacherGroupieModerator

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Mar 17, 2009

There's a Dutch landscape the name of which I don't recall; let me rummage about a bit.

An interesting discussion here: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/math5.geometry/unit11/unit11.html

Found it! The artist is Hobbema; the painting is Avenue at Middelharnis; you can see it here: http://www1.nationalgallery.org.uk/collection/features/potm/2006/mar/feature4.htm

5. ### TeacherGroupieModerator

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Mar 17, 2009

Old teacher, you might enjoy the two sites I gave mm as well - and there's a nifty Web site on Leonardo and all of this (that mm will know) that you can link to from the Wikipedia page on perspective.

6. ### mmswmModerator

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Mar 17, 2009

Old teacher, the vanishing point is a point somwhere on the painting that sets perspective. It's what makes a 2-D surface look 3-D. In order to achieve that, the relative size of objects in the foreground, midground and background change, and the "sight line" will follow a linear path from various objects, with all the lines "dissapearing" at a certain point, aka, the vanishing point. What I do is put a clear piece of heavy plastic over a print of the painting and mark out the sight lines (an art teacher can correct me if my terminology is wrong). Then, over that, I lay a coordinate plane. First, we figure out equations of the various lines, then use systems of equations to find the point where thy all intersect to find the "address" of the vanishing point.

The kids really like this activity, plus they get the added bonus of seeing good art and learning a thing or two about it. My school district has all but eliminated art and music, so If I can work it into my classes, I do so.

7. ### mmswmModerator

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Mar 17, 2009

lol tg...though it's not quite empty...there's a bit of water, plus 5 kids...that makes it pretty full in my mind (playing in a filling pool is WAY more fun than playing in a full pool, just so you know).

8. ### TeacherGroupieModerator

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Mar 17, 2009

Okay, then, wiseacre, your filling pool - but definitely not your full pool, capisce?

Did what I came up with help any, huh, huh, did they?

(I am so a groupie... tch.)

9. ### mmswmModerator

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Mar 17, 2009

lol, tg. Yup, I like a few of them. Some of the ones I like the best have quite a few perspective points, though I think I can choose one or two. I'm going to sweet talk the copy guy into printing out "Jesus before the Caif" in poster size. It has more points than I need, but there's to major ones and I can use just those two.

10. ### mmswmModerator

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Mar 17, 2009

hmmmmm, maybe I like "School of Athens" even better.

11. ### mmswmModerator

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Mar 17, 2009

Now I have too much to decide...do I go with earlier attempts at multiple perspective points or one with a true single vanishing point? Grumble. The multiple points have fewer lines going into them, hence an easier system to solve, but the later ones are so clean and clear. *sigh* I remember now why I picked the ones I picked. I'm still tired of teaching them though. I want new ones.

12. ### TeacherGroupieModerator

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Mar 17, 2009

Does the Hobbema help at all, my dear?

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Mar 17, 2009

mmswm, thank you, I like to learn something new.

14. ### mmswmModerator

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Mar 18, 2009

tg, yes, it did, but I liked some of the other ones better.

Old teacher...you're welcome. It's a fun activity for the kids and makes at least the one topic seem less abstract and more useful.

15. ### Anne wmcosuvamuCompanion

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Mar 18, 2009

How about Turner's Rain, Steam, and Speed? A very obvious perspective of a train barrelling out of the distant fog-like background into the foreground.

Or, maybe David's Oath of the Tennis Court sketch for an interior.

Constable's Hadleigh Castle for a landscape.

Hogarth's The March to Finchley is one of my favorite, but you might have to gloss over the soldier with his mistress and his wife, and the drunken fallen soldier...:lol:

Thomas Cole's The Architect's Dream as well as his The Course of Empire: Consummation. Actually, showing the whole series might be interesting to show the mathematical precision of Consummation versus the wildness of the earlier paintings and the later.

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Mar 18, 2009

Did you find one to your satisfaction?

17. ### mmswmModerator

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Mar 18, 2009

Crzy, yes, I found several...the problem is that now I have too many choices. Several of the links TG posted have the lines already drawn over the images. I think I will use those since it takes away some of the work for me, but some of the ones anne posted are also really workable for this project.

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Mar 18, 2009

Wonderful! It makes me so happy to hear you're doing arts integration on your own accord!

19. ### mmswmModerator

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Mar 18, 2009

I think the arts are very important...for a variety of reasons. I teach in a chronicly underperorming, inner city school. These kids haven't seen an art or music class since, pre-k, if that. I do what I can, which isn't much, but at least its something. Besides, the kids REALLY like this particular project.

20. ### SamothraceCohort

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Mar 18, 2009

I need to go get my Jansen text, lol I can see the image in my head..the people, the window, the table..guh! But to be honest, any Renaissance painting is FULL of perspective! They just fell in love with it!

It's in my Art Through the Ages text

Dirk Bouts, The Last Supper. There is a bit going on in the painting,but it's nice b/c you have a table, doorway, window and tiled floor all in one point perspective. This one stuck out b/c I remember my prof overlaying an overhead over the image to show the lines of perspective.

Any kind of photo of a city street, or the cliche railroad tracks, fence lines are easy images of 1pt perspective.

21. ### SamothraceCohort

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Mar 18, 2009

How do they meet state requirements to have the arts? I thought at this point that every state required at least at the highschool level to have art in order to graduate (whether music/art/drama)

not that I'm surprised that they don't get the art they need. ugh! when will people learn that kids need it! especially innercity kids who need a positive way of expressing themselves.