Perspective Names with Phillip Martin
Lesson Plan
Learner Outcomes: .................................................... ....................................................
Color: Understand that colors can be transparent and opaque
  Realize that color can be used as a perspective tool
Line: Appreciate line is used to represent the world around us
Design: Realize that contrast of value causes the eye movement over a picture
Space: Understand that Positive and Negative space is used to enhance aesthetics
Texture: Appreciate that texture is used to enhance realism
Appreciate that texture is used to enhance aesthetics
Materials: multiple sheets of 6" x 17" newsprint
25 pencils
  25 art erasers
  25 one inch strips of sturdy paper to use for consistent lettering
  25 soft leaded pencils for homemade carbon paper
  25 fine tip black markers
  25 sheets 12" x 18" drawing paper
  assorted colored pencils
Vocabulary: Transparent, Opaque, Line, Value, Positive and Negative Space, Texture, Vanishing Point
When I teach this lesson, I start with a day of one point perspective and a day of two point perspective. Some kids love it. Some kids will never understand it for years. Regardless, I think it is a good practice. If you understand how to do these, I would recommend it.
One Point Persepctive
Two Point Perspective


Have the students create their names in block letters on the 6 by 17 inch newsprint. Fill the entire space. All letters are six inches tall and they should fill the 17 inches. Emphasize the use of rulers, block letters, and the same height of letters.

Helpful hint: It will help if the students first make blocks for each letter and then form the letters inside the boxes. It is easier if all of the letters (and blocks) are touching. So, Sammy made five boxes

Another Helpful hint: I recommend the use of strips of cereal boxes to be sure all the letters are a consistent width. Most of these strips I cut are 1 inch in width. However, students with lots of letters in their names might need thinner strips and kids with shorter names might need wider strips. Use these strips for all letters. An "I" is simply one strip in width as you can see in Faith's example. Use the strip four times to make the letters "A" and "M"..

Another Helpful hint: It is much easier if all letters have square corners instead of curves. If kids want curves, it's possible. But, square corners as Sammy did with the "S" are much easier.

After the nightmare of getting the names drawn in even block letters, demonstrate how to color with pencil on the back of the paper to make "homemade tracing paper". Never heard of it? Well, it is a great little trick. Using soft leaded pencils, color the back of the 6 by 17 inch paper. Next, on the final 6 by 18 drawing paper, place a one inch ruler along the bottom of the paper (the 18 inch portion). Trace along the top of the ruler. This creates the line for the bottom of the name. Now center the newsprint with the name on that line. Tape it in place on the left and right with little pieces of masking tape. It's not difficult to transfer the design to the drawing paper. When you trace on top of the name, the pencil lead on the back of the page will transfer the name to the final art paper. You don't need to push hard. Again use rulers to make sure the letters are perpendicular.

Set a vanishing point somewhere on the upper portion of the page. It works best if a ruler is placed along the top edge of the paper and the dot is on the other side of the ruler, about an inch down on the page. I personally prefer the dot in the center of the page, but let the kids make their own decisions.

Connect the letters to the vanishing point to give the names depth. If you look at the examples, it helps to clairfy how to do this. Try to make sure the lines meet at the vanishing point. You don't want a vanishing glob.

When illustrating the letters, each one should be a subject that interests the kids. You want to learn things about them. Move kids away from subjects like the Simpsons and Superman. That just means they watch television. You want to learn more about real interest. Also, it's better to draw huge instead of small. Faith especially did this well with the musical notes and volleyball.

Outline everything with fine black marker using rulers. (Some kids will need one on one supervision to help outline the letters well. You can do this with them individually while kids illustrate the letters.)

Color the front illustrations with colored pencils. The top portion of each letter should be a value study of the color with steps from the full color to a gradual decrease down to white. (Sammy did this well.) The sides of each letter should be a shade of that color. I suggest one light coat of the color and a second light coat of black colored pencil.


Copyright 2000, revised 2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.

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