2 M.C. Escher Op ArtMC Escher is arguably the most recognizable artist from the Op Art movementBorn in the Netherlands, Escher is considered a Dutch graphic artist even though he spent a significant amount of time creating work in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and BelgiumEscher was left-handed – raise your hand if you are left-handed!One of Escher’s favorite methods to creating art was creating an illusion of 3-d shapes on a 2-d flat surfaceMath was a HUGE part of Escher’s work. Although he never officially studied math, he used many geometric concepts like symmetry, congruency, and what we are going to do today – tessellations!This pattern in a tessellation of tiles (Moorish tiles at the Alhambra in Andalusia, Spain) is said to have inspired Escher to work with tessellations
3 M.C. Escher Op ArtEscher created this piece, Horseman, a woodcut in 1946He used three blocks to carve out this picture and then printWoodcut is type of printmaking involving carving an image into a wood block, then spreading ink over wood image and pressing into paper to create a "print"Printmaking allows for same image to be printed over and over (kind of like a copy machine!)Notice the horseman in the middle – the grey horses give relief to the red horses and tessellateA tessellation is a pattern made of identical shapes that fit together without any gaps and do not overlap
4 M.C. Escher Op ArtHere’s an example of Escher playing with the mathematics of tessellationsThis is called Development II and it is also a woodcut completed in 1939.He’s supposed to use identical shapes to create a tessellation and instead he starts with pentagons (5-sided polygon) and hexagons (6-sided polygon) and works from the center enlarging them and morphing them into salamandersHe does repeat the shapes in a circular motion and the figures do not overlap so it can be considered a tessellation, but more of an artistic interpretation
5 M.C. Escher Op ArtOne of the most famous Escher works is Reptiles completed in 1943 – originally drawn in pencilThis is an example of Escher's amazing illusion of making a 2-d flat print look 3-dimensional. He begins with no details on the flat , white, gray reptile tessellating on paper. Then using high details and lots of value changes (lights, mediums and dark shades) on one object the reptiles look like they came to life and are crawling off the paper!
6 M.C. Escher Op Art Today we are going to make our own tessellations! We are going to start by making the shape that we will tessellate or repeat all over our papersTaking the notecard you have been given, we are going to draw a “funny” line or curve from corner to corner on one side of the notecard – watch while I demonstrateNow you draw yours…Next we will cut along the line we drew making sure to cut carefully and only on the line we drew – watch while I demonstrateNow cut yours…Finally we will SLIDE our cut-out from the side we cut it out of to the opposite side of our notecard tape it to that opposite side – watch while I demonstrateNow SLIDE and tape yours…You have now created your shape to tessellate on your paper!
7 M.C. Escher Op Art Today we are going to make our own tessellations! We are going to trace this shape all over our paper, by starting in the top left corner and sliding right – watch while I demonstrateNow you complete the top row like I didNext we will move down and do our second row…notice how I’m going to stagger my tessellation shape to make my picture a little more interesting – watch while I demonstrateYour turn – let’s finish working our way sliding right and then starting new rows beneath being careful to stagger the shape when we start a new rowOnce you have finished your tessellation, it’s time to add some fun details!
8 M.C. Escher Op Art Today we are going to make our own tessellations! Start with one of your shapes and draw a funny mouth, maybe some fins if it’s a fish, a logo if it’s a superhero, eyes, ears, stripes – whatever you want on that one shape – watch while I demonstrate -Next move to the shape right next to it and draw different details on that shapeOn the third shape, you want to do the same thing as you did to the first one so that your shapes will be repeating like a tessellation is meant to – check out mine!Now finish by alternating those details in the remaining shapes on your paperRemember that it will form a pattern, alternating between only two different types of shapes throughout your whole pictureFeel free to color in and if you don’t finish in class, you can finish at home and take your frame home to attach once you are done with the coloring (so that the coloring doesn’t get all over your nice frame) – the art team will be around to hand out the frames
9 M.C. Escher Op Art Let’s review what we learned today: Op Art is short for optical art or artwork that creates optical illusions (or plays tricks) on the eyeA tessellation is a pattern made of identical shapes that fit together without any gaps and do not overlap2-D is two dimensional or flat artwork that only takes up width and length3-D is three dimensional or artwork that takes up length, width, and height within a spaceValue changes and details help to create an illusion of 3-d on a 2-d flat surface
10 M.C. Escher Op Art Discussion Questions: What is the name of the artist we studied today?What is Op Art?How does an artist make a flat 2-d artwork look like it is 3-d and lifelike?What influenced Escher to create his tessellating Op art?What is a tessellation?What was your favorite piece of Escher’s that we looked at today?What types of shapes and details did you use with your tessellation today?What would you call your piece?Did you like this method of creating artwork?