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Germany - Albect Durer - Texture and proportion

The children learned about showing texture on an object by studying Albrecht Durer’s Woodblock print of a Rhino.  They observed that repeated shapes will give the illusion of texture.  They also learned about proportion by looking at the Rhino’s body and trying to informally measure the body parts. This helped them draw the parts of the rhino the correct size (or close to it).  The children had to add in texture to their rhino.  They could have used the texture patterns that Durer used or they could have created their own.  The children then added in an environment for the rhino.  They were pretty creative in creating the background for where their lives.   Lastly they had a choice to use watercolors for color in their wonderfully textured Rhino’s world.


About the Rhino

Why is this rhinoceros so amazing? You will notice that this rhinoceros is   different from the real one and it's because Durer made this woodcut even though he had never seen a rhinoceros!
       Durer learned about this strange beast when a sultan in India sent one to the King of Portugal as a gift. A German printer was visiting Portugal and sent a drawing to Durer
Along with this description: "…color of a speckled turtle, almost entirely covered by a thick shell…in size like the elephant, but lower on it's legs, and almost invulnerable. It has a sharp strong horn on its nose, which it starts to sharpen whenever it is near stones…runs with its head down between it's front legs…".
     Using this description, Durer made his rhinoceros encased in hard speckled plates. The overlapping shapes on the rhino's head are kind of like cabbage leaves. On its back and legs are more plates with repeated lines and patterns.
        To make his rhino, Durer drew lines on a flat block of wood. Then he used sharp tools and cut the wood away on either side of the drawn lines so that they were left in relief. When he finished carving, Durer rolled printing ink on the raised lines and pressed the block onto a piece of paper. Since the original print was 8-1/2" x 11-3/4", we marvel at the tiny curves and angles that demonstrate his great cutting skill.

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