Math for Art Lovers

My kids love to draw.

However, they aren’t too devoted to their long division homework.  That’s why some days we combine art with mathematics.  One way to do this is quite simple: Create Pictures with Geometery!

For example, as I’m typing this blog entry, my daughters are busy at work on an art project.  I have asked them to illustrate a robot (my daughter want me to let you know that it is a “robot-dog”) using only three shapes.  Circles, triangles, rectangles and squares.

Now, that sounds rather kindergarten at first.  But after they are finished drawing and coloring, I’ll get out the ruler and have some questions for them:

  • What’s the cirumference of that circle?
  • What is the degree of that angle?
  • What is the area of that particular square?
  • What kind of triangle is that?  Obtuse?  Acute?

After we tape their art work to our refrigerator, we’ll surf the web and find some wonderful examples of classic artists who use math to create their masterpieces.  Here are some of my favorites:

There’s so much to see in this one — and sadly this image doesn’t do the painting justive.  Still, one can still detect the mastery of perspective.  Here’s a great link to more about the craft (and mathematical skill) involved in creating perspective.

Another terrific web-stop is “Mathematics in Art and Architecture.”  This site contains many articles and illustrations that clearly explain architectural designs — from maze gardens to pyramids.

Also, I rather like a blog called Math Art, although they don’t post as often as I’d like,  I can’t get enough of their M. C. Escher-styled landscapes:

Know any good websites that combine art and arithmetic?  Leave a comment and tell us about it!