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Maths in Art – Learning Walk

April 18, 2016

A while back, I asked some other teachers if I could pop into their lessons to see if I could find some maths in what they were doing. Here’s the feedback I gave (shared with permission) after an Art lesson.

Here’s what I noted:
Art, year 9
This lesson highlighted for me how some things in maths have a high requirement for accuracy while in art, a similar usage allows some elements of freedom (or creative license perhaps).
Students were scaling a photo up from 13 x 17 cms using a scale factor of 1 1/2 . This leads to a rectangle of 19.5 x 25.5. This is identical to how we’d talk about enlarging a shape in maths and interestingly was also evident in year 12 ICT. Accurate measuring was important for this. I was surprised at how difficult students found this and drawing a rectangle was a real challenge for some. The actual enlargement itself did not need to be totally exact (although I assume this probably would be exact in photography).
The teacher frequently referred to some key words such as vertical, horizontal and central. (Positional words that are related to coordinates and geometry.) He also referred to the fact that joining the diagonals of a rectangle finds the centre – clearly links to key facts about quadrilaterals and that the diagonals of rectangles bisect.
We also briefly chatted about how mixing colours is potentially a question of ratios but only really in industrial scale and not for an individual artist. My feeling is that saying students use ratios for mixing paint in art is pseudo-context and we (the maths department) should probably avoid it.
Some nice bits of maths I found without even having to look very hard at all!

From → Maths

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