Using Math to Teach Drawing | Expect More Arizona
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Using Math to Teach Drawing

by Laura Wilde

Phoenix Center for the Arts is using the summer to learn and grow before school starts. To keep your child engaged and interested in art, we’ve partnered with Expect More Arizona to present the lesson plan below.

How could math and art possibly intersect? It’s actually not all that strange. Once you have the basics down, you’ll be able to transcend your blank canvas into a mathematical plane. Follow the steps below and soon you’ll be able to draw anything you’d like.

  1. Mickey GraphFind an image that you’d like to draw. For the first time around, the simpler the image the better. Don’t worry about the intricate details, for this you’ll be focusing on the silhouette of the image.
  2. Use the image to the right as a guide. Then draw four lines across the image lightly with a ruler. Do the same from top to bottom of the image.
  3. You should now have a grid across the image. Measure the lines of the grid on the image going across then measure the lines going down and take notes.
  4. On your piece of paper, make the same grid using the measurements taken from the lines on your image.
  5. Your piece of paper should now look like the image with the grid. To begin drawing the image on your paper, focus on one square at a time. Instead of looking at the larger image as a whole, instead, look at the smaller image just in the square. You can use smaller pieces of paper to cover up the other squares or your hands to focus only on one square at a time.
  6. Use your finger or parts of your pencil as a ruler to figure out how small or large the image in each square should be. Is Mickey’s ear the same length as your eraser? Or is his shoe the size of your thumb?
  7. By following this method at the end of the exercise, you should have the entire image drawn on your paper.
  8. Challenge yourself to draw other images like this from copied images or from objects in your house.

PCA logo
Laura Wilde is Outreach Coordinator at Phoenix Center for the Arts. She is an Arizona native with a BA in Art History and a BA in Museum Studies from Arizona State University. Laura oversees the Art4All Art Mobile, Creative Wellness program, Arts for a Change and all Artist in Residency programs at PCA.

Find more ways to use the arts to reinforce learning skills with your child. Expect More Arizona has partnered with 24 amazing arts & culture organizations across the state to help parents experience these venues with their children in rich and meaningful ways. Plan your education adventure Today! 

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