The following visual was created in Adobe Photoshop and will be used in my fourth grade art unit; Louise Nevelson-inspired Shadow Boxes. Students are 8-10 years old. During the introductory lesson of this unit, students will be required to look at various works created by Louise Nevelson and respond to them. The response portion may be done verbally or as a written piece. In an effort to help guide responses, this visual was created. The four sections of the visual are standard principles used in critiquing artwork.
Lohr, 2008, discusses using color to separate information (color insert p. 3). While a very simple example, I feel this visual works well with this concept. The information on the visual is chunked into four distinct principles that students need to think about and the four separate colors help in distinguishing these separate principles. Lohr, 2008, also talks about Gestalt, “a principle of perception stating that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (p. 158). In connecting this to my visual, the “whole” or what I will refer to as the main idea is having students respond to a work of art. In order to do this, they need some parameters to follow and those are the four principles or the “parts” that make up the “whole”.
I went through a variety of different ideas when creating this visual. I tried different color backgrounds and ended up with another very light background with a slight gradient applied. I had drop shadows and a stroke on the four color boxes, but I ended up taking the drop shadows out, which ended up being a good idea. I entertained the thought of adding a texture to my background for some visual interest, but I decided against it. In further thought on this, I ended up adding a bevel and emboss to the boxes. I feel this created a bit more depth to the visual. While simple and straight to the point, the visual does what it needs to, but I still feel it’s missing something. I think this week I really battled with having a “WOW” factor to the visual, but I kept going back to the fact that I’m not trying to “WOW” my students, I’m trying to present information in an understandable and uncomplicated way.
In my user test, I made the adjustments stated above. I also specifically asked about the colors and made some minor adjustments to the placement of the colors. I originally had the blue and green boxes on top and had purple instead of the orange. See the examples below.