Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall, Foliage, and Fibonacci

In this past session of art classes,
we have been discussing math in art.
What a perfect time to introduce the Fibonacci Sequence.
If you don't know it by that name,
you may also have heard it referred to as The Golden Ratio.
The number sequence was discovered
by an Italian mathematician named Leonardo.
Leonardo Fibonacci, that is.
He preceded the other famous Italian Leonardo
by about 3 centuries.
The sequence itself looks like this...
1,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55... and so on...
In this sequence any two consequetive numbers added together
 will equal the next number in the sequence.
1+1=2, 1+2=3. 2+3=5, 3+5=8, and on it goes infinitely.
More than just a nifty little math trick,
Fibonacci discovered that this sequence
was absolutely everywhere in nature.
The curve ratio in a seashell, the number of seeds in a sunflower, or the star created when slicing an apple in half.
You will also find it in most art masterpieces
and is used by photographers
when composing their photographs
as it translates over to the rule of thirds as well!
First we learned a little more about Fibonacci, though there is not very much known about him, by reading this book. The illustrations themselves are FILLED with spirals and representations of the Fibonacci sequence.


This is a great book on many levels. Along with learning about one of the greatest mathematical minds of all time, kids will learn that greatness is not always appreciated by those around it.

Next the students were given a template leaf cut from cardstock. They created a frame by drawing four lines around the edge of their papers. Then they were given the criteria...

1. There must be either 13 or 21 leaves.
2. There must be 3 or 5 groups of overlapping leaves.
3. The number of leaves in each group must be a fibonacci sequence number.
4. The number of veining lines on the leaves must be a fiboncci sequence number.

At this point all the pencil lines are outlined in fine black sharpie.

When color is added, there must be a limited palette of colors, numbering a number in the sequence.
Leaves must be colored in such a way as to create a group pattern of fibonacci sequence numbers.

This piece was colored with construction paper crayons, on construction paper.

Then concentric lines are drawn with either pencil first and then outlines with ultra fine black sharpie, or confident students can just add the lines straight away in sharpie first.

The piece is finished up by using lighter colors to highlight darker ones and vice versa. As contruction paper crayons are opaque and fairly easy to blend, this is pretty simple. A white crayon layer can added for smoother results.  As the last step, black oil pastel is used to redarken lines lightened by the coloring process as well as really defining the frame. White oil pastel is added for highlights on the leaves.

This project was also inspired by this lesson...

Layered Leaves

over at Art Projects for Kids.



1 comment:

Pat said...

Very interesting! Can'twait to try it! Thanks!