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I make a ditto sheet of a grid 8 1/2 by 8/12 in. with 8 squares
across and 8 down. Each square is 2 cm. sq. with 1/4 in. between each and
approx. 1/2" around the outside. Wish I could draw it for you. I run this
ditto off using colored card stock paper the same size (8 1/2 x 11 paper)
and cut them off into 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 " squares. Are you with me?
Paper is not just a flat surface. Think of many possibilities as
you bend, fold, score, cut, rip, weave and curl. By cutting and folding, a
student can create textural surfaces based on radial designs. RADIAL
BALANCE as a design principle means a design in which parts radiate outward
from a central point. TEXTURE is created by "relief"....the raised parts
of a surface that are often noticeable by the feeling and seeing of
To begin, use the prepared duplicated basic grid of squares with
1/4" in between which you have run off on a copy machine. (Most machines
will take card stock paper which works better for this lesson than regular
ditto paper.) Since RADIAL DESIGN means the design begins at the center
and develops evenly out to the edges with the patterns, start at a center
point and build the design outward with a pencil and ruler. Draw only the
lines that are to be cut. Being very careful, and not cutting too far or
cutting hands, cut your design. Cut just inside your pencil line. Since
the squares are small, the student can "free-hand cut" without the need of
a ruler. Erase pencil marks if they will show and fold your cuts to make
reliefs. A sample is very handy in this lesson and/or pictures of finished
Glue a backing onto the back of your relief. Contrasting dark with
light colors shows off your design to its best advantage.
I used this lesson with 7th-8th graders. For older students, you
might present the project as a "problem to solve". They must design a grid
on 12 x 18" colored construction paper making it 12" x 12" using 9 squares
across and find their own measurement between and around edges. Good
lesson in logic and measurement.
...............2nd project......ROUND ROBIN CONSTRUCTION........................
light-colored 12x18 construction paper (blues, greens, pinks,
compass, pencil, ruler, right-angles, if possible
pictures of Braque, Picasso, Leger,etc.
overhead pictures and overhead
Start with drawing tools. In this project each student in the class
is instructed to execute a particular construction and then pass his/her
paper to the right. The process is repeated several times. Students then
are instructed to take the original papers and embellish them so they
become more balanced in line and shape. We spend several minutes
a. Make four dots. Pass
b. Make circles on dots any size with compass. Pass
c. Make one equilateral triangle. Pass
d. Make two right angles and extend to outside edges. Pass
e. Make three parallel lines and extend to edge. Pass
f. Make two perpendicular lines. Pass
g. Make one acute triangle and one obtuse triangle.
h. Return to original person. Embellish.
Show example how to color in cubistically with crayon. (If you
look at several cubistic paintings, you will notice the similar brushwork
where each section of color is painted dark in one corner and spreads to
the other corners while getting lighter in shade.) Do not outline but
color up to the pencil lines. Balance colors in composition.
1. Paint with black and white only. Mix to make diff. shades of gray.
Discuss values of black and white together.
2. Paint with only two primary colors. Mix to make secondary and
3. Do color mixing with crayon.