The elements of art - composition, shape, line, form, value, texture, and color – provide building blocks on which to explore existing artwork and to create your own. In this project, you will explore how to use shape and color to set the mood and make your work express specific emotions. Once you have learned about the techniques for using colors and shapes to convey meaning, you will retell one of the Twelve Labors of Hercules using the shapes and colors in Frames.
Locate an image of Paul Klee’s “Red Balloon.” Ask students to identify what shapes they see. Can they visualize the scene the artist was attempting to depict? How does the round red shape in the middle make them think of a balloon?
Next, share Molly Bang’s “Picture This” with your students, following her process of developing a simple illustration for Red Riding Hood. The protagonist in her version is a red triangle. Why did she choose this shape? How does a triangle make her feel? Do you agree? Are the sides equal? Why is the triangle shaped this way? Would a triangle of any shape make you feel the same way?
Next, explore Bang’s list of the principles that make pictures successful in conveying meaning. The principles explore how different shapes (horizontal, vertical, and diagonal) convey different meanings, how position on a page can attract viewers or make them feel a certain way, how color affects mood, how size affects strength, and how contrast makes us see.
Use one of Molly Bang’s discussions about color as an introduction to using color to affect emotion. Explore a few of the many great web sites that talk about how colors affect our feelings. Interior designers use color to change our perceptions about the size of a room or to reflect or enhance the types of activities that take place in a room. Invite an interior designer, or graphic designer, to your class to discussion how color contributes to mood and activity.
Let students know that they will use shapes to create an animation that retells one of the Twelve Labors of Hercules. Heroic characteristics like bravery, strength, wisdom, common sense, and perseverance provide direction for how shapes should make the viewer feel. The action and setting associated with the journey also evoke strong emotions. The intention is not to use shapes to build a realistic illustration, but to use shape and color to evoke emotions in the viewer that are central to the character of the hero and the events in the heroic journey.
Assign each student one of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, such as slaying the Nemean Lion, capturing the Golden Stag of Artemis, or cleaning the Augean stables. Provide them with multiple versions of the Twelve Labors. Have students use a cluster diagram or character trait organizer to brainstorm additional adjectives and descriptions as they develop their own narrative version of one of the Twelve Labors of Hercules’.
Have students use the drawing tools in Frames to illustrate a crucial scene in their labor. Have students use their cluster or character trait organizers as they develop the details. You may want to limit your students to using the Shape tool to ensure that they only use simple shapes.
When students have finished creating this frame, have them use the Print Current Frame feature to create a hard copy of their work. Partner students together and have them exchange their images, completing a peer review of the use of shape and color in the scene.
Have students edit the scene based on the peer evaluation and then begin transforming this still scene into an animation. Teach them to group and lock items on a frame as well as how to duplicate a frame to save time as they are building their animated stories. When the Frames in the animation are complete, have students narrate the story and use the Make button to create an animated video of their work.
Arrange the student videos in the order of the Labors of Hercules. Showcase the videos from each of the Labors, commenting on each student’s interpretations and use of shape and color.
Using a web authoring tool like Share, create a web site that retells the story of the Twelve Labors of Hercules. Share this with a class studying mythology and heroes. Have students in this class evaluate the use of color and shape in your students’ videos.
The initial discussion of Paul Klee’s work will help you establish prior knowledge. As you explore the story of Little Red Riding Hood, listen to students’ responses to your questions about Molly Bang’s use of shape and color.
The final animation should be a clear assessment of how well the student understands and employs the use of color and shape to evoke emotions.
Bang, Molly. Picture This: How Pictures Work ISBN: 0613300912
Artist’s Toolkit http://www.artsconnected.org/toolkit/index.html
Meaning of Color http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html
Twelve Labors of Hercules (Herakles) http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Herakles/labors.html
Craft and Structure
4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Production and Distribution of Writing
6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Visual Arts Content Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Students select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices.
C. describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artisic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
C. explain and give examples of how language, literature, the arts, architecture, other artifacts, and traditions, beliefs, values, and behaviors contribute to the development and transmission of culture.
1. Creativity and Innovation:
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:
a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
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