Railroad Tracks

Title: Railroad Tracks

Grade: 5

Art Discipline: Visual Arts

Time Frame: 60 minutes

Lesson Overview: Students create a one-point perspective railroad track going into the distance to the vanishing point.


GLO(s): 3. Complex Thinker, 4. Quality Work


Arts Benchmark: How the Arts are Organized – FA.5.1.2: Analyze, using evidence, the element of space (perspective, overlapping, foreground, background), and how it is developed in works of art.

Rubric based on Arts Benchmark:

Advanced

Proficient

Partially Proficient

Novice

Insightfully analyze, using evidence, the element of space and how it is developed in works of art.

Analyze, using evidence, the element of space and how it is developed in works of art.

Explain element of space and how it is developed in works of art.

Give examples of element of space and how it is developed in works of art.

Key Arts Vocabulary: line, pattern, perspective, depth, foreground, middle ground, background, horizontal, converging lines, vanishing point, landscape position (of paper)


Content Area Benchmark: Patterns – MA.5.9.1: Analyze patterns and functions and use generalizations to make reasonable predictions.

Content Area Rubric:

Advanced

Proficient

Partially Proficient

Novice

Analyze patterns and functions and use generalizations to make reasonable predictions, with accuracy.

Analyze patterns and functions and use generalizations to make reasonable predictions with no significant errors.

Analyze patterns and functions and use generalizations to make reasonable predictions with a few significant errors.

Analyze patterns and functions and uses generalizations to make reasonable predictions with many significant errors.


Classroom Set Up: Group gathering followed by regular seating.

Materials & Equipment needed:

  • Per student: pencil, 9" x 12" Drawing Paper, 12" or 18" transparent ruler 
  • Overhead projector for demonstration
  • Art prints to share:

Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper

Byzantine print that shows people and buildings before perspective was utilized.

Prior to this lesson, students need to know how to use a ruler.

Teaching Tips:

Model each step for students first before they draw.

Demonstrate on transparencies with an overhead projector.

Check students’ drawings to see if all are correct before going on. Rulers need to be legible to measure accurately. Clear rulers work well with perspective drawings, due to ease of lining up vertical or horizontal lines with existing drawn lines.


# Minutes

Procedure

Create

Perform

Respond

10

(Teacher note: Gather students in a group. Show them the Renaissance print and explain the basic perspective within it.)      

Look at this print from the Renaissance of the Last Supper by da Vinci. Notice the lines in the ceiling and walls and how they go into the distance. We call this linear perspective. If we line up the converging lines with a ruler, we see that DaVinci created his perspective composition in a way that all lines converge to Christ’s head. This point is called the vanishing point and is one of the first things established in perspective drawing.

Look at this print from the Byzantine era, before linear perspective was known. Do you see how objects in the distance are not getting smaller? Can you see several angles of the building? In our real visual world you do not see the all of the sides of the building. Why? 

In perspective drawing, everything is seen from the point of the viewer. This is called the viewer’s eye level. Also in perspective drawing, the first thing you draw is the horizon line. You as the viewer have your eye level on this horizon line.

Look again at The Last Supper. Leonardo da Vinci painted this from his perspective looking on the scene. His eye level is on the horizon. In perspective, the artist uses rules to create a look of depth and many times repeats details as they go into the distance. When they repeat in this way, they form a pattern. Look at the ceiling in the Last Supper. What is the pattern there?

You are going to create a simple linear perspective drawing of a railroad track, using your knowledge of patterns and how objects relate to each other as they go into the distance. Go to your seats and I’ll pass out the drawing materials and supplies you need

   

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35

(Teacher note: Demonstrate each step for students before letting them proceed. Wait until they have completed each step before going on to demonstrate the next step.)       

1. Place your paper on your desk in a landscape position (wide).

2. Draw a horizontal line, 2" from the top of your paper.  To guarantee horizontal accuracy, measure several 2" notches from the top of paper and then draw your line through the notches.

All lines vanish on this horizon and the viewer’s eyes are always at the level of the horizon. That is your eye level.

Now you draw this horizontal line on your paper.

3. Place a dot on the horizon at the middle of the page by measuring the width (12" and dividing by 2 to find the middle).

At the bottom of your paper, measure 4" in from each corner and make a pencil mark. Use your ruler to draw a line from each mark at the bottom of the page to the dot in the middle of your horizon line. The two lines converge at this dot.

4. Next, draw a horizontal line within your converging 2 lines, 1/8" below your vanishing point. This is a railroad tie. In linear perspective, it would be the last railroad tie you would see before it disappears from your view at the horizon.

5. Measure 2/8" from that line, to make your next railroad tie.

6. Make your next horizontal line 3/8" from this line, to make your next railroad tie.

7. Continue this gradual pattern for each railroad tie that you draw. What will the next measurement be? And the next?

8. When you have finished drawing in the railroad ties, go back and work on the thickness of the lines of the ties. The line of the closest tie, at the bottom of the page, should be the thickest. As the ties go back into the distance, the ties should get thinner and thinner. 

9. Here’s an extra challenge. Add shading to your railroad ties. The shading should get lighter as the ties go into the distance. The variation in levels of gray is called value. This is another perspective rule to consider when items go from the foreground into mid-ground and into the background or distance. Using your pencil, shade in your closest tie with the darkest gray you can. With the next tie, shade it in slightly lighter. The next tie, slightly lighter, creating ties that are gradually lighter in their level of gray as they go into the distance.

check mark

   

10

Sign your name at the bottom right corner of your drawing. Place your work in our exhibit space. Let’s gather around and look at the work.   check mark  

Describe how an artist shows objects going into the distance.

Describe the standard unit of measurement (or inches) in this work.

How is the use of value important in creating perspective?

Why is proportion important when creating a drawing with depth?

What would you do to improve your drawing?

 

 

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5

Closing Reflection with students:

What patterns did you notice as you developed your perspective drawing? Let’s make a list.

   

 


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Responding (Questions to ask students before, during, or after an activity in the lesson to elicit their thinking about their own work or about work they are studying):

Step 1: Describe

Step 2: Interpret

Step 3: Evaluate

Describe how an artist shows objects going into the distance.

What patterns did you notice as you developed your perspective drawing?

Describe the standard unit of measurement (or inches) in this work.

How is the use of value important in creating perspective?

Why is proportion important when creating a drawing with depth?

What would you do to improve your work?


steps 1-7 making railroad trackssteps making railroad tracks

finished railroad tracks with trees and fence

 

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