This week we looked at DaVinci's sketches, starting with his self-portrait. We then moved on to his anatomy sketches, which were so accutate that they were used for many years. Then we looked at his invention sketches.
|Sam even wrote the date Leonardo DaVinci style (backwards).|
Activity: Animal Art (p. 20)
The most important thing to do when learning how to draw is to learn how to look. Study Leonardo’s sketches of horses. What is special about the shape? The parts of the body? Note the horse’s rounded haunches, barrel-shaped body, and powerful muscles. These are the features you will want to emphasize. The second most important thing to do is practice. Even if you think you can’t draw, give it a try. Can you draw circles and ovals? That’s all you need to start.
Draw the animal using geometric shapes. For the horse, you might start by lightly drawing a large circle for his rear, a long oval for his body, and another circle for his chest. Draw his neck and head as ovals. Draw narrow cylinders for his legs and small ovals for his feet. While making this preliminary sketch, notice proportion (for instance, the size of the head compared to the body).
Go over the shapes, building on them with heavier lines. Hold and move the pencil in different ways to get different effects. Draw soft, shaded lines lightly with the side of the pencil. Press down hard and move it back and forth for a hard, jagged line. Pencil in the distinctive features, such as the hooves and tail. For the horse, use soft, short strokes with the pencil held slightly at an angle to capture the texture of his hair. Use longer lines of different sizes for his flowing mane.Activity: The Craft of Cartography (p. 65)
When Leonardo became a military engineer for Cesare Borgia he created many maps. Mapmakers are also called “cartographers.” Leonardo was one of the first cartographers to draw maps from a vista d’uccello, a bird’s-eye view.
Stick, at least 8 inches long
Maps to use as examples
Sheet of paper, 8 1/2 by 11 inches
Things to consider when making a map are direction, scale, and symbols. With these things in mind, you can make a map of your neighborhood, showing the way from your house to your friend’s house or from your house to school.
First, figure out the compass points (north, south, east, and west). Here is a simple way to do that. On a sunny day, push a long stick into the ground at an angle so that it is pointing to the sun and so that it is not making a shadow. Leave for about an hour. When you return, because the sun will have moved farther west, the stick will have a shadow and the shadow will be pointing east. Face east and the south will be to your right, north to your left, and west behind you.
Next, choose a scale for the map. Look at other maps for examples. Often the scale is something like 1 inch for every 10 miles. On your map, 1 inch could equal 1 block. Indicate the scale you are using so anyone who reads it can measure out the inches and calculate distances. Create symbols for landmarks such as houses, bridges, and railroads. Churches can be shown with a steeple, schools with a flag. Made a “legend” or explanation, so the reader will know what the symbols mean.
Lastly, draw the streets and label them. Use the symbols you invented to show landmarks and buildings. You can draw your map in different colors, like Leonardo did, to show water, land, and roads. Draw the compass points so the person reading your map knows which way is north, south, east, and west. See if a friend can follow your map.Other resources:
Se7en Discover the Great Artists: Leonardo DaVinci
Leonardo DaVinci's Workshop
Museum of Science: Exploring DaVinci
National Gallery of Art,