Wednesday, January 25, 2012

driving along

The kinders and I looked at the work of Japanese artist and illustrator Tadahiro Uesugi this week. The focus of the lesson was near/far size relationships and creating a sense of movement in an artwork.

Tadahiro has a style that recalls print ads and art from the late 5o's. His work has a mid century vibe to it, with his elongated figures, simplified value patterns, and his focus on the urban landscape. Very cool stuff. A lot of women are featured in his work, waiting to show Don Draper who's boss.

One of the images we looked at was one of the pre-preduction drawings he did for the movie Coraline.

We talked about why Coraline looks like she is much closer to us than the circus performers. "Because she's closer" was a common answer. With some guidance, sometimes a little and sometimes a lot, we discovered that she looks closer because she is so much bigger than the performers. This was confirmed when we looked at the size of a student's head close to me and compared it with a student who was further away.

For the drawing activity we based our work on the illustration below.

We identified that the side mirror was big because it was close to us in the car and the pedestrian was smaller because she was further away. We also agreed that the girl should look both ways before walking out into the street like that.

I also talked to them about using lines, in this case, diagonal lines to create a sense of speed or motion in a drawing.

We drew out the side mirror together, as well as the diagonals. I modeled things that they see in the mirror, but I emphasized that they could draw anything that they wanted to in there. I asked them to think about where they would wanted to be leaving from, or who they had just said goodbye to. There were many landscapes and many family members in the drawings.


  1. What a unique perspective, D. You always come up with the most interesting artists to share with your students. Ever think about publishing some of these lessons in School Arts or Arts and Activities? I'm sure lots of art teachers could benefit from what you have to share!


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