Art this month focuses on space and the techniques artists use to create
three-dimensionality within a painting or drawing. Lesson 8 is divided
into two parts and is intended to give students time to explore. Students
distinguish two-dimensional shapes from three-dimensional shapes and then
experiment with their own drawings of the latter. From this point they
examine artists' techniques for making an entire drawing or painting appear
three-dimensional. Students identify and explore foreground, middle ground,
back ground; line; color; size; and clarity.
In Lessons 9, 10 and 11 students continue to examine artists' techniques for creating depth. Lesson 9 explores Millet's The Gleaners, Lesson 10 explores Bruegel's Peasant Wedding and Lesson 11 has students investigate Demuth's I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, a painting quite unlike the other two.
Reproductions of the paintings are necessary for Lessons 9, 10 and 11. Few book sources were available for this month's art so other sources are listed below.
Millet, "The Gleaners"
AS 8x10 $1 HD 7x9 $3, 11x14 $9, 18x24 $16 TNP 10x12 $5
NI 19x27 $18 SW 18x24 $9.50 NY 10x14 $18, 17x23 $25
Bruegel, "Peasant Wedding"
NY 11x14 $15, 15x21 $18 HD 20x30 $18
Demuth, "I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold" a.k.a. "Figure 5 in Gold"
SW 25x20 $9.50 MMOA slide $1.50
Schiftan Inc. Te Neues Publishing Co.
406 W. 31st St. 16 W. 22nd St. 11th Floor
New York, NY 10001-4696 New York, NY 10010
Fax: 212-465-8635 Fax: 212-627-9511
Hadad's Fine Arts Nouvelles Images
3855 East Mira Loma Avenue 860 Canal St.
Aneheim, CA 92806 Stamford, CT 06902
800-345-1383, Fax: 800-525-5969
New York Graphic Society MMOA
PO Box 1469 Metropolitan Museum of Art
Greenwich, CT 06836-1469 1000 Fifth Avenue
203-661-0509 New York, NY 10028-0198
800-677-6947, Fax: 203-661-2480 212-650-2924, Fax: 718-628-5485
Shorewood Fine Arts
27 Glen Road
Sandy Hook, CT 06482-0319
203-426-8100; Fax 203-426-0867
All posters are $9.50 each for school orders. When ordering 5 or more posters, the price reduces to $8 each. Postage and handling $3.50, no matter how many posters are ordered.
Third Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 8 - Space
Identify and distinguish two-dimensional shapes from three-dimensional shapes.
Practice drawing three-dimensional shapes.
Recall foreground, middle ground and background.
Identify techniques used to create depth in a drawing/painting.
Experiment with techniques used to create depth in a drawing/painting.
Manila paper (2 pieces per student)
Sphere, cube, cone, cylinder and pyramid shapes
This lesson is intended to be an opportunity for students to again see themselves as artists by tackling the difficulties artists face in making two-dimensional shapes appear three-dimensional, and exploring different ways to create depth in a picture. Although students have already been introduced to foreground, middle ground and background in Second Grade, this lesson provides an opportunity for students to try different techniques used to create depth.
Divide the lesson into two parts (as indicated) taking two class periods to allow sufficient time for practice and exploration.
Part One - Two-dimensional becomes Three-dimensional
Begin the lesson by drawing a square, a circle and a triangle on the board. Ask the students to identify the three shapes. Next display a sphere (a ball or globe) and ask the students to identify the shape (sphere). Hold the sphere next to the circle you have drawn on the board and ask what is different about the two. (The circle is two-dimensional, the sphere is three-dimensional.) Ask for a volunteer to define three-dimensional. (having height, depth and width) Continue the exercise with a cube and a pyramid, then show a cylinder and a cone and explain that these are three-dimensional shapes as well.
Congratulate the students for being able to see the difference between two-and three-dimensional shapes and tell them that you need their help. Ask them to tell you ways that an artist can make an object appear three-dimensional in a sketch or painting. Ask for volunteers to make suggestions or demonstrate. (Possible suggestions are shading, filling in additional lines, overlapping objects, and adding shadows.)
Go to the drawings of the shapes on the board and using the students' suggestions, make the shapes appear three-dimensional. Invite students to help as well. Then tell the students to look around the classroom and try to find examples of all the shapes. List the items the students find under the appropriate drawing. Tell the students to think about how they would draw each of the objects to make them appear three-dimensional.
Distribute drawing paper and have the students practice drawing spheres, cubes, cones, cylinders and pyramids on one side of the paper. Tell them to practice only drawing the shapes without trying to make them into anything just yet. Suggest that they try drawing several
different sizes of an object to see if it is easier to draw one size over the others.
After the students have had several minutes to practice tell them to stop and turn their papers over. Tell the students to look at the lists of three-dimensional objects on the board and to select three that they would like to try drawing. Tell students to now draw the three objects on the blank side of the paper. If time permits, allow volunteers to display their sketches while classmates identify the objects they have drawn.
Part Two - Depth
Remind the students that the last time they met they discussed the ways an artist makes a two-dimensional shape appear to be three-dimensional. Tell the students that an artist also has to think about making his or her entire drawing or painting appear three-dimensional. Remind them that in Second Grade they learned a trick that had to do with placement. Ask: How many remember foreground, middle ground and background? (*See activity below if students are unfamiliar or having difficulty.) Have three volunteers come to the front and pose so that one is in the foreground, one is in the middle ground and one is in the background. Establish that persons and objects in the foreground appear larger than items in the middle ground or background.
Have the three models distribute the drawing paper while students take out red, blue and black crayons. Ask the students to place their papers in a landscape position and have them place the red crayon in the foreground, the blue crayon in the middle ground and the black crayon in the background. Move about the room helping where needed and then repeat the procedure having the students hold their papers in a portrait position. Congratulate the students for their knowledge of space and tell them that you have been giving them another hint about depth with the crayons. Ask if anyone can figure out a relationship between the crayons and depth. (Bright, bold colors seem to come forward while dull, dark colors seem to recede.) Remind students that they have identified position, size and color as all affecting depth and three-dimensionality.
Attach a piece of drawing paper to the chalk board. Use a crayon and draw a wide, dark line; next to it draw a lighter, fuzzy line. Ask: Which would you use in the foreground? (wide, dark line) Which would you use in the background? (light, fuzzy line) Remind the students of the Chris Van Allsburg illustrations and how many backgrounds looked like shadows.
Tell the students that artists also use lines to draw our eyes to the background. A road, a river, a parade of cars going up a hill, they all draw our eyes from the foreground through the middle ground, to the background. Using another piece of paper draw three objects--placing one in the foreground, one in the middle ground and one in the background, then add lines so they don't appear to be floating. Finally draw a path snaking its way from the object in the front to the farthest object in the back.
Take a moment to review the techniques artists use to create three-dimensionality (or 3-D) in a drawing or painting and write them on the board. Ask for volunteers to explain as you write each one. You should list position (foreground, middle ground, background), size (largest in front, smallest in back), color (bright colors advance, dark colors recede), clarity (sharp lines in the foreground, fuzzy lines in the background) and line (used to draw our eyes from the front to the back).
Tell students to now take their papers and select a portrait or landscape position. Tell
them to try to make a three-dimensional drawing combining the shapes they practiced in the last
lesson and the techniques they identified today. Move about the classroom as they work, offering assistance and support. Display the drawings when they are completed and use a portion of another class period to allow students to identify the techniques they observe.
*If students have difficulty with foreground, middle ground, background:
Tell the students to look around the room, or out the window, if possible. Tell them to look first at the objects and people who are closest to them, them look a little farther away, then look the greatest distance. Ask: How do the sizes of people and objects at those three distances relate to one another? Which look largest? (the closest items) Which look smallest? (those farthest away) What about the people and things in between? (middle-size, not the largest, not the smallest) Ask students to raise their hands if they think they know what artists do to create depth (explain that this means to make the painting or picture look three dimensional). Tell them that you need them to help you with the next part of the lesson.
Display a large rectangular piece of blank paper in portrait position. Tell the students to imagine that it is an open window and they are looking out. Invite a student to come up and point to the area where you would see the closest things. Draw a light line of colored chalk across the paper and indicate on the board that this is where the closest objects would be. Invite two other students to locate where the farthest and middle-distance things would be, marking each with a line and comment on the board. Then proceed with the activity having students pose.
Third Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 9 - Millet's The Gleaners
Identify techniques Millet used to make the painting appear 3-D.
Identify the painting The Gleaners as genre art.
Analyze the artist's purpose.
Imagine an interaction with the people in the painting.
Reproduction of Millet's painting The Gleaners
Reproduction of Vermeer's The Milkmaid (optional)
Beckett, Sister Wendy. The Story of Painting. New York: Dorling Kindersley in Association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1994.
Useful background is included, but the reproduction is too small for the class to see.
De La Croix, Horst, Richard Tansey and Diane Kirkpatrick, ed. Gardner's Art Through the Ages: Vol. II--Renaissance and Modern Art. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1991.
Contains useful background information, however the reproduction is small and in black and white.
This lesson cannot be taught without a full-color reproduction large enough for the entire class to view. Sources are listed in the overview. A suitable reproduction within a book has not been located.
Jean-Francois Millet (1814-75) was the son of a farm laborer. While he is best known for his paintings of the simple lives of peasants, he actually spent most of his years painting landscapes.
Write the word "glean" on the board with the following definition: "to gather (grain or the like) after the reapers or regular gatherers; to gather what is left by reapers." Read the definition aloud or have a student read it, assisting where necessary. Then, have a volunteer restate the definition in his or her own words.
Tell the students that the next painting they are about to see is titled The Gleaners and it is by the French artist Millet (write title and artist on the board). Ask for a volunteer to define "gleaner" (one who gleans or gathers). Ask the students how crops are gathered today (by machine). Ask: How would you expect a gleaner to gather? (Answers will vary, some may suggest that a gleaner uses a machine as well.) Display the reproduction of the painting The Gleaners. Ask the students if they can identify the gleaners in the picture. Ask a volunteer to describe them. Are they using machines? (no) Do you see any machines in the painting? (wagons) Is this a modern scene? (no) Ask: Who do you think the gleaners in the painting are? (peasants, poor people) Do you think that they get paid for what they do? Why? What do they do with the grain that they pick up after the workers have come through?
Remind the students that during this time in history (1857) most people in this area of France were farmers. It wasn't unusual to see people working in the fields. Ask: Do you think the other people living at that time thought that gleaners were important enough to put in a painting? (probably not, this was an everyday occurrence) Why? What would we call this type of painting that shows everyday life? (genre art) Do you recall another artist who painted everyday life? (Vermeer) What was his painting that you studied called? (The Milkmaid) (Display, if available.)
Tell the students to think about what these two artists were saying to us about the people they painted. (Answers will vary.) Tell the students that Vermeer and Millet lived almost 200 years apart, and yet they both felt that the everyday lives of people were important. Ask: What do you think Millet thought of the gleaners? Why? Did he make them tiny figures or did he make them large? (large) Point out that Millet did not place them off to the side or in the background, he gave them the most prominent position.
Have the students look carefully at the painting and consider the elements of art used in this painting and what Millet did to make it appear 3-D. Ask: How does he give depth to the painting? What does he do to make us feel like we are looking into the picture? (The figures of the women are large. They are in the foreground. One is slightly in front of the other. There are shadows on the ground. The people and things in the background are very small and almost all the same color.) Are most of the lines in the painting straight or rounded? (rounded) Where do you see texture? (clothes, wheat stalks on the ground, stacks in the background)
Challenge the students to use their imaginations. Tell them to pretend that the painting has come to life and they can listen and talk to the women. Ask: Do you hear the women talking or are they quiet? What are they saying? Why might they be quiet? Are they singing? If so, what kind of song--happy or sad, slow or fast? Are they tired? What else have they done today? What else will they have to do today? If you could ask them a question what would you ask? What do you think they would answer?
Tell the students that Millet's father was a farm laborer, ask them to tell how they think he might have felt about this painting. Conclude the lesson by asking: How do you think people who were gleaners felt after seeing this painting? Why?
Third Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 10 - Bruegel's Peasant Wedding
Analyze Bruegel's use of space.
Locate particular items in the painting.
Identify and describe various techniques Bruegel used in the painting.
Respond to a prompt about the painting.
Reproduction of Bruegel's painting Peasant Wedding (a.k.a. Peasant Wedding Feast)
Reproduction of Vermeer's painting The Milkmaid (optional)
Classroom-size world map
Beckett, Sister Wendy. The Story of Painting. New York: Dorling Kindersley in Association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1994.
Bruegel, Pieter. The Complete Paintings of Bruegel. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1967.
Contains full-color reproductions.
Muhlberger, Richard. What Makes a Bruegel a Bruegel? New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. Looks at several Bruegel paintings, including Peasant Wedding, and summarizes elements frequently found in his works.
Venezia, Mike. Pieter Bruegel. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1992.
One of the Meet the Artists series certain to be enjoyed by students.
Gives biographical background on Bruegel and his sons, and provides reproductions of sixteen of his paintings, including Peasant Wedding (also known as Peasant Wedding Feast.)
Information on Bruegel is included in the lesson. The painting Peasant Wedding Feast is again examined in Fifth Grade.
Ideally, for this lesson, a large full-color reproduction of Peasant Wedding should be used. See the Overview for sources.
Ask the students to recall Vermeer and his painting The Milkmaid (if possible, display a reproduction as well). Remind them that they studied Vermeer's use of light but that they also learned something about his style of painting. Do they recall what we call a painting that shows a scene from everyday life? (genre art) Congratulate them if they recall this and tell them that they are going to meet another artist who did genre art, a man named Pieter Bruegel.
Write "Pieter Bruegel the Elder" on the board and read the Mike Venezia biography or tell the students the following about his life.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder was born around 1527 in a city named Antwerp which is in a country we now call Belgium (locate on map). He studied painting in the studio of the artist Pieter Coecke van Aelst and would marry van Aelst's daughter, Mayken, years later. While he was studying he became curious about some paintings of scenery that had come from Italy and decided to travel and learn about landscape painting there. Bruegel enjoyed his travels and made many sketches of the scenery he saw. He would use the things he sketched later on in some of his paintings.
Bruegel painted landscapes for awhile when he returned to Antwerp, but then he began painting pictures that told stories or included secret messages about the way people should live. Some of his paintings include very strange and somewhat scary creatures.
Bruegel is sometimes called Peasant Bruegel, not because he was poor, but because he did a good job showing what the life of the peasants was really like. He paintings are like snapshots that catch the action without having people posed and formal. He learned about the peasants by dressing up like them and attending their parties and celebrations.
His two sons Pieter the Younger and Jan became artists, also. Bruegel's sons spelled their last name with an "h," (Brueghel) the way it was originally spelled. For some reason Bruegel dropped the "h" from his name in 1559. He died in 1563.
Ask the students if anyone can tell what words we use today when a father
and son have the same name like Pieter Bruegel and his son did, instead
of saying elder and younger (senior and junior).
Display a reproduction of Bruegel's painting Peasant Wedding. Ask: Do the people in the painting look like they are posing or does it seem like someone has taken a photo without anyone knowing? Ask the students why this painting would be considered genre art. (It shows a scene from everyday life, a wedding of ordinary common people--not the marriage of a king, etc.) Mention that the title does not indicate a particular wedding, simply a peasant wedding. Remind the students that Bruegel would dress as the peasants did and attend their parties and celebrations in order to try to feel what their lives were like. Tell the students that some people think that Bruegel did more than just dress-up for this painting, they think he actually painted himself in it. Tell them to look at the right side of the painting--the man in the fancy suit sitting at the end of the table on the overturned tub might be Pieter Bruegel. Explain that we are not really sure.
As they continue to look at the people seated at the table ask the students if they can identify the bride (seated in front of the green cloth, wearing a crown). Can they identify the groom? (He might be seated to the right of the bride, two people away, or he might be the man sitting across the table who is leaning back, or he might even be the man pouring the wine.) Are the bride and groom dressed very differently from their guests? (no) Would we be able to spot the bridal couple more easily at a wedding today? (probably, due to the clothing worn today)
There are many people in this painting and many activities going on. Ask for volunteers to find, and point out a dog, someone with a spoon in his hat, someone pouring, two people talking, a peacock feather, someone drinking, a door off its hinges, and a musician. Is there a shape that is repeated throughout the painting? (Accept reasonable responses., circles/ovals are repeated, as are rectangles.)
How does Bruegel make the room look so large? (parallel lines of the table draw the eye, figures in the foreground are much larger than those in the background, colors are more muted in the background and seem far away) Point out that there appear to be two foregrounds, middle grounds and backgrounds. The first is evident looking from the person pouring in the foreground back to the people seated at the back of the table, the second progresses from the two men serving the custard back to the guests standing in the doorway. How does Bruegel draw our attention to the bride? (cloth draped in back, crown, crown hanging over her head, she is placed in between people wearing bright white and red hats)
Ask: What story do you think Bruegel is telling us with this painting? Why do you think he painted the sheaves of wheat on the wall? Did he just want us to know the time of year or was he trying to tell us something else? Do you think he wants us to know something about a particular person or thing in the painting or do you think he just wanted to show people celebrating? Allow the students to first share their ideas orally then ask them to write several sentences to complete one of the following:
Pieter Bruegel painted Peasant Wedding to tell about...
The most interesting person (or thing) in the painting Peasant Wedding
Third Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 11 - Demuth's I Saw The Figure 5 in Gold
Identify techniques the artist used to make the painting appear 3-D.
Recall other techniques for creating a 3-D picture.
Speculate as to the subject of the painting.
Use numerals to create a 3-D picture.
Reproduction of Demuth's painting I Saw The Figure 5 in Gold
Crayons or paint
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983.
This particular painting has been very difficult to find, hence the single listing. The reproduction in the guide is quite small and would not be suitable for class viewing. A large full-color reproduction is necessary for this lesson (see Overview for sources).
Display a reproduction of Demuth's painting I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold and allow the students several minutes to look at it without any introduction or discussion.
Ask: What did you see immediately when you looked at this painting? (Answers will vary. No. 5, color red) What do you think this is a picture of? (Answers will vary. It is a painting of a fire engine.) Tell the students to try to think of something that is red and has a number on it, if they have difficulty making a suggestion.
Tell the students that this is a reproduction of a painting called I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by an artist named Charles Demuth. (Write both title and artist on the board.) Explain that Charles Demuth was an American artist who died in 1935. Remind the students that he is the first artist they have met this year who was living in the same century as they are.
Tell the students to close their eyes and picture a fire engine. Then tell them to put the engine in motion and have it come toward them and pass alongside them. Ask: If the engine was traveling very fast would you see it clearly? (probably not) How would it look? (like a blur) Tell the students that Charles Demuth got the idea for this painting in 1928 when he saw a fire engine clanging through the streets. It was nighttime and it was raining. The street lamps which only gave off flickers of light made the engine seem like a blur. Ask: What was the one part of the engine that Demuth did see very well? (the figure 5)
Tell the students to look carefully to see if they can find the artist's initials in the painting. Have them indicate so by raising their hands. Ask a volunteer to describe the location (lower left corner). Tell the students that Charles Demuth had a friend whose initials are also in the painting. Ask: Can you find another set of initials? Where? Ask a volunteer to name them (WCW) and another to locate them (bottom center). Ask the students to speculate about the friend's occupation. (They may guess fireman based on the subject of the painting.) Tell the students that Demuth's friend, whose name was William Carlos Williams, was a doctor who liked to write poetry and later became a famous poet. He gave Demuth the idea for the title of the painting. Tell students that "figure" means a numerical symbol in this context. Ask: Do you see another word that probably refers to William Carlos Williams? ("Bill," located in the top left) You may wish to let the students speculate about the reason for the partially visible words (TART Co.).
Ask: What colors do you see in this painting? (red, gold, black, white) Are they dull colors or bold colors? (bold) Why do you think Demuth chose them? (Answers will vary.) What did he do with the numeral 5 to make the painting look like it has depth? (The numerals get smaller so they appear farther and farther away, the colors change with the distance) How did Demuth show movement? (Answers will vary. Be sure that students notice the diagonal lines.) Tell the students to think of a number from 1 to 9. Ask: Have you seen that number somewhere before? Where? Was it on a bus, or a taxi? Was it a house number or was it written on a birthday cake? Did you see it as a price in a store window or is it a channel on the TV? How would you arrange several of the same numeral in a picture? Could you make the picture look 3-D? Tell the students to remember the techniques they can use. Ask for volunteers to recall them as you write them on the board. (Objects in the foreground larger than those in the background; objects overlap; bright colors are used in the foreground and dull colors are used in the background; sharp lines are used in the foreground while fuzzy ones are used in the background; parallel lines draw our eyes to a point in the background)
Distribute paper and tell the students to use their pencils very lightly to place the numerals of various sizes in their picture. Remind the students that they may chose to position the paper in either a portrait or landscape format. Caution them to limit their erasures, reminding them that bright colors will naturally obliterate some of these unwanted lines.
Have the students color their pictures with crayons, or if you prefer, use paint. When completed display them with the unfinished sentence "I Saw the Figure..."
Beckett, Sister Wendy. The Story of Painting. New York: Dorling
Kindersley in Association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington,
D.C., 1994. (1-56458-615-4)
Bruegel, Pieter. The Complete Paintings of Bruegel. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1967.(8109-5502-4)
De La Croix, Horst, Richard Tansey and Diane Kirkpatrick, ed. Gardner's Art Through the Ages: Vol. II--Renaissance and Modern Art. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1991. (0-15-503771-4)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983.(0-87099-346-1)
Muhlberger, Richard. What Makes a Bruegel a Bruegel? New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. (0-87099-668-1)
Venezia, Mike. Pieter Bruegel. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1992. (0-516-02279-2)