Friday, September 10, 2010

Contrast, Pattern & Evolution

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Overview: We will examine pattern, texture and value shifts in nature. We will look at two artists work and we will be creating mixed media rubbings of moths using lace, crayon and paper.

Elements of Art addressed: texture and value
Science component: VoiceThread observations of industrial melanism. This component addresses California 3rd grade Science, Life Sciences Standards 3.0.
Art History: Francisco de Goya and contemporary artist Robert Hague

Lead in:
Animals often have interesting textures and patterns. What role do these features have?
The black and patterned peppered moth populations changed drastically during the Industrial Revolution in England. Soot blackened the trees and killed the lichen growing on the trees. The new darkened environment set into motion changes in the number of patterned moths and the number of black moths. How? This is a classic example of industrial melanism, or genetic darkening of species in response to pollutants. I have posted a VoiceThread exercise for students. (link will be by invitation only once project begins).
Source images for moths: Olaf Leillinger, Wikimedia Commons.
Source image for bark: Chris Luczkow.

In each class we will be briefly exploring other artist's works. Here are two for this project:
Contemporary artist Robert Hague created these pieces below. They beautifully illustrate pattern and value shifts while both unveiling and hiding ghostly silhouettes. The lace patterns evoke the era of late 1880s's and the advent of the Industrial Revolution.

Francisco de Goya's uses texture and value contrast to create focal points, balance and tension in his political and allegorical images .

Credit: Francisco de la Goya, Donde hay ganas hay mana. National Galleries of Scotland

Credit: Francisco de la Goya, No llegan a tiempo. Arno Schmidt Reference Library
Using crayons, coffee cup holder and lace scraps, students will create their own moth rubbings exploring texture and contrast.
1. Hand out texture boards (matt boards with lace or flattened coffee cup holders glued to them)
2. Students choose one colored crayon. Students place piece of paper over rubbing board.
3. Students peel crayon wrapper back half way and brush flat side of crayon over paper to create rubbing.
4. Students take another piece of paper and create a rubbing using same crayon but a different texture board.
One of these two rubbings should be darker than the other.
5. Students cut out a moth shape from one piece of paper.
6. Students cut out a factory or tree shape from the other piece of paper.
7. Students glue background rubbing (tree or factory shape) to a white piece of paper.
8. The moth shape is glued on top.
9. Students answer questions on VoiceThread as to which moth they would eat in frame A and frame B if they were a bird.

1. Is the moth visible in your collage? Why or why not?
2. How does value impact visibility of objects in the rubbings, in Goya work, in Hague's work?
3. How did the soot impact the visibility of moths on the trees?

Assessment Based on Objectives:
Did student create a piece including all components requested?
Did student successful record voice or written thoughts on VoiceThread?
Did student answer VoiceThread questions correctly?
Did student successfully create an image with value shifts strong enough to define the outline of the moth against the background?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, of course you would turn a science/history project into an art study! I love the way you integrate the technology over many subjects. Perfect! It's very interesting!