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Creating two-point perspective on the computer. (pixel Palette).

Students need to be knowledgeable about using computer tools to create artwork. I want my students to be prepared for commercial art employment, and it seems that commercial art is mainly being done on the computer.

With this in mind, I introduced my fourth- and fifth-grade students to two-point perspective. Using the painting document of Claris Works, they created a two-point building, embellished by their creative ideas, on the computer.

Our computer lab is equipped with Macintosh computers, and Claris Works has been installed on every hard drive. Claris Works contains a word processor, data base, spreadsheet and charting functions, as well as paint and communication tools. This software package is available in both Mac and Windows.

PROCEDURE We looked at Gustave Cailebotte's Paris Street, Rainy Day and Charles Burchfield's Rainy Day, both of which contain a building shown in two-point perspective. In each painting I showed the students where the two points were on the horizon line and how the upper and lower slanted lines of the building were lined up with those two points.

After demonstrating how to draw a two-point perspective building on the overhead projector, I instructed students to draw a building using pencils and paper. Then I showed students how to draw the building on the computer, and I gave the following directions:

1) Use the line tool to draw the horizon line. Pressing the shift key while drawing will produce a straight line.

2) To obtain the two points, place a point on top of the horizon line close to each end with the pencil tool. I suggested placing the points on top of the line so that they could be erased later without erasing the horizon line.

3) Draw a vertical line that extends above and below the horizon line to create the front corner of the building. One vertical line will give a sharp corner, while two vertical lines will give a flat surface.

4) Draw slanted lines from the top and bottom of the vertical line to the points on both sides with the line tool.

5) Using the line tool, draw a vertical line from the upper to the lower slanted line on both ends to form the back corners of the building.

6) With the eraser tool, erase the upper and lower slanted lines that extend from the back corners to the points.

7) Use the line tool to draw lines from the front corner to the point on both sides to form sections on the surface of the building. By clicking on "Show Rulers" under "View," sections can be evenly spaced by using the vertical ruler. Again, use the eraser tool to erase the slanted lines extending from the building to the points.

9) Add your creative ideas by using the computer tools that will best serve the purpose. To this end, I encouraged students to draw an object overlapping the building to promote unity and interest.

ACCELERATING SKILLS Students enjoy clicking on the icons and experimenting to discover the creative possibilities of the various tools. In their concentration, they seemed to be mesmerized in front of the screen. They appreciated the fact that they could click on "Undo" under "Edit" and eliminate their last choice.

Students did a great job drawing a two-point perspective building and adding their imaginative ideas, while accelerating their drawing skills using computer art tools.

Berniece Patterson teaches art at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Denton, Texas.
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Title Annotation:teaching computer art
Author:Patterson, Berniece
Publication:Arts & Activities
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
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