SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion

Students paint self-portrait that looks as if it is on the surface of a sphere.

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 6 to Grade 9

Subject

Language Arts
Mathematics
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

2-dimensional colour coordinates distortion grid system sphere

Materials

Crayola Tempera Paint Crayola Paint Brushes Crayola Scissors Rulers Pencils Erasers Bristol Board or Painting Paper - 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm (12" x 12") - 1 per student Paper Towels Water Containers Plastic Lids for Palettes Photograph of Self - or Image to Represent Self

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Steps

SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion - Step One

Step One

  1. Lightly draw diagonal lines from corner to corner on the Bristol board to locate the centre. 
SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Cut out a circle with a 20 cm (8") diameter.
SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Fold the circle into quarters to find the centre.
  2. Line up the centre of the circle with the centre of the Bristol board.
SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Open the paper circle and trace it onto the Bristol board.
  2. Draw a square around the circle.
  3. Mark 2 cm (1") intervals on all 4 sides of the square.
SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Connect the marks on opposite sides of the Bristol board with straight lines.
  2. When you come to the circle gently curve the line as if you are moving over the surface of a sphere, then continue to the other mark in a straight line.
SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Scan or download a photograph of yourself.
  2. Crop your photograph so it is a 10 cm (4") square and shows a close-up of your face.
  3. Print the photograph.
  4. Mark 1 cm intervals on all 4 sides of your photograph.
  5. Connect the marks opposite each other to form a grid.
SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Cut out a circle with a 10 cm (4") diameter.
  2. Place it over your photograph and trace it.
SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Assign a letter to each column of the grid on the Bristol board and a number to each row.
  2. Assign matching letters and numbers to the columns and rows of the grid on your photograph.
SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion - Step Nine

Step Nine

  1. Decide where to start drawing.
  2. Look at the box that contains your starting point and find the corresponding box on the bigger paper, e.g., 4G.
  3. Copy the details in that box.
  4. You may want to place small pieces of paper strips along the edges of the box you are working on to help you see only those details. 
  5. Continue drawing from box to box until you have finished all the details.
SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion - Step Ten

Step Ten

  1. Gently erase the grid lines and begin to paint.
  2. Mix a range of colours to show light and shadow.
SPHERE ME! – Geometry, Colour, Distortion - Step Eleven

Step Eleven

  1. Decide where you want your sphere to be.
  2. Paint the background adding tints of colours for highlights and shades of colours for shadows.  

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • paint a self-portrait that looks as if it is on a sphere; 
  • use a grid system to transfer an image;
  • use tints and shades of colours to create the illusion of depth;
  • create a background that sets the scene for the sphere;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

Extensions

Have students:

  • explore other ways to distort images using a grid system;
  • create mini drawings of distorted images on a set of small cards;
  • share their work with others.

Prepare

  1. Prior to this lesson have students complete the Picture This lesson available on this website.
  2. Copy the circle templates - one for each student. (Downloads – Circle10cm.pdf, Circle20cm.pdf)
  3. Download images of reflecting spheres from the Internet.
    Mirror Ball
    Bubble
    Bubble 2
    Escher
    Shopper
    Garden Reflection
  4. Download and display the Colour and Value posters available on this website.
  5. Review and have students practice scanning or downloading a photo, and then resizing it. 

Introduction

  1. View and discuss the images of reflecting spheres paying particular attention to distortion and light effects.
  2. Review the grid system and demonstrate how to curve lines over a circle when drawing the grid.
  3. Introduce the challenge. 

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Create a self-portrait painting that looks as if it is on a sphere.
  2. Use a grid system to transfer an image.
  3. Use tints and shades of colours to create the illusion of depth.
  4. Create a background that sets the scene for the sphere.
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment.
  6. Support your ideas with evidence found in the paintings.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - accurately scaled up and distorted the drawing
    - used tints of colours for highlights
    - used shades of colours for shadows
    - created a background that sets the scene for the sphere
    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Place students into small groups and have them share thoughts about the work.
  2. During the discussion include references to: 
     Colour - how colour combinations and shading affect the overall impact of the work
    -  Placement - how the background contributes to the viewer's understanding of the painting
    -  Technical accomplishment - how the condition of the paper, careful measurement and attention to detail affect the overall impact of the work
  3. Ask students what they found satisfying about doing this project and why.
  4. Ask them what was difficult about doing this project and why.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss the paintings – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Sphere_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Sphere_self-assessment.pdf)