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Active Learning Projects are interactive exercises that bring difficult visual concepts to life.

This project involves a physical art project that must be created this semester, specifically for this class. You may NOT use previously created work. All original art works must be photographed or videoed and posted to Canvas, in addition to the written portion.

You will also write a 300 (minimum) word response that:

  • examines how your project brings specific artistic elements/principles to life.
  • Connects what you have learned from your project with the material we studied or that you have seen elsewhere.
  • Make sure that your writing is college level, proofread and uploaded as a word document.
  • Below are several choices available to you, you must complete one.

1. Take a photo of a building near where you live, work, or go to school. Print this image on a piece of paper and, using colored markers or highlighters, pick out the vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curved, and organic lines, using different colors for each. Be sure to create a key for your colors. You will often find vertical lines in the sides of doors, windows, columns, tree trunks, and the sides of a building. Horizontal lines are often found at the foundation of the building, above and below doors and windows, and in the horizon. Any straight line that is not vertical or horizontal will be diagonal. Curved lines appear in circular and rounded areas. Organic lines appear in natural objects, such as the landscape, people, animals, and treetops. After you have defined the lines and where they are in the picture, look at which kind of line is most common. Why do you think the architect used that particular line orientation so often? How does the architect’s use of line affect how you appreciate the building? Is there anything the architect could have done differently to add visual interest to the building? How does the use of line (or lack thereof) in the landscaping add or detract from the building’s visual interest?

2. When two or more shapes are placed in a design, depth can be implied by changing the relative size of each shape, overlapping them, or placing them higher or lower in the space. Using black paper, cut out a series of simple geometric shapes: circles, squares, triangles, etc. There should be at least two of each shape, and some of different sizes. Be sure to have at least three different shapes. Arrange these shapes on a white piece of paper. Describe which shape is closest and which is furthest away. What makes the closest object seem closest? Furthest? Can you think of a way to make the objects all seem the same distance from the viewer? Would using colored paper change the perception of size/depth? How? Be sure to photograph and upload at least 4 different configurations.

3. One important property of color is value. The hue blue can have many dark or light variations of color. Search and find pieces of colored paper from magazines, brochures, product packaging, construction paper, color printed images, etc. From this collection of colors, clip out only the sections that are blue. Take all your blue color clippings and glue as many of them as you can into a 6-in. × 6-in. square that you have made on a white sheet of paper. Feel free to modify their shape and size for more variety. Does your collection have both light blues and dark blues? Do some of the blues look slightly red and others a little green? Why do you think that you might be seeing reddish or greenish tones? Do you perceive a new color, different from the originals? What results do you think you would get with other color combinations?

4. Depicting time in art is not a concept that exists only in the modern world. The most ancient pieces of art that we know, cave paintings, show the passage of time. Cave paintings at Valltorta Gorge, Spain, show, variously, bow hunters as the bow is aimed; the arrows in flight; and arrows piercing deer. On a piece of paper, draw in cave-art style an activity in which you often engage. Describe your actual activity. How does your drawing communicate the passage of time? Is there anything you could add that would aid in the depiction of time passing? Would different colors or values add or detract from your work? How did you use line to indicate the passage of time?

5. Cameras and smartphones now offer video modes that almost anyone can use. This is a fairly recent development. Most users don’t think about the design of the video: they are simply recording from their normal vantage point. Good videographers consider other ways of approaching the subject by changing lighting, setting, and camera angle. Take two short videos, at least 30 seconds each, with a smartphone or camera, but shoot them from the point of view of someone tiny and then someone gigantic. How does each angle change the message of the video? Why? How did you go about creating these videos? Does the subject you chose affect how it is portrayed from either perspective? Be sure that you upload these videos in an MP4 format. 

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