Magazine article School Arts

The Signature Cube

Magazine article School Arts

The Signature Cube

Article excerpt

Without even knowing another person we can instinctively understand something about that person through his or her signature. This is because signatures hold a "great quantity of visual information." As an introduction to the qualities of expressive line, I used the research from Betty Edwards' second book, Drawing on the Artist Within, as a starting point. I began with an exercise (on page 56) dealing with reading the visual language of line. I specify that this is not handwriting analysis but intuitive learning. Line is information-rich and we can all access information by "reading" more consciously. In order to demonstrate this concept and to allow students the opportunity to explore and employ the qualities of expressive line, I developed the signature cube project.

Expressive Marks

I gave the students a template consisting of six two-inch 15 cm) squares which would later be folded into a three-dimensional cube structure. This photocopy appeared as a cross that had been flattened, with tabs added to facilitate construction. I asked the students to write/draw their signature across the squares. The shorter name was to be written across the three squares and the longer name written across the four squares. They spread the letter forms into each box using pencil so changes could be made. Then they traced over the signature with pen and India ink.

I reminded students that their names are expressive and that they should use expressive marks with pen and ink to develop the negative space. As the class finished, the cubes were cut carefully along the outline of the tabs and then folded to be assembled. …

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