PicStich and Perspective

LESSON TITLE:  Hudson Studies Artistic Extensions
TEACHER NAME: Jennifer November
GRADE LEVEL: 7th – 8th, Also used for NAMTA teachers in training
CLASS TIME: _60_Minutes _1_Days/week _1_# Session(s)
SUBJECTS COVERED – History, Perspective, Photography

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OBJECTIVES: To express Hudson’s history through artistic means. Make connections/draw similarities with citizens of the past. Introduce perspective-drawing skills. Learn the photography skills to create a successful montage.


  • Sketch paper
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • rulers
  • charcoal (optional)
  • clipboards
  • digital cameras or divice with image capture
  • Adobe Photoshop (or a Smartphone for NAMTA teachers)


perspective – The art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth

two point perspective – a mathematical system for representing three-dimensional objects and space on a two-dimensionalsurface by means of intersecting lines that are drawn vertically and horizontally and that radiate fromone point (one-point perspective)  two points (two-point perspective)  or several points on a horizon line as perceived by a viewer imagined in an arbitrarily fixed position.

RESOURCES: Adapted from HMS lesson given to NAMTA (Montessori Teachers in training) which has been used many times in the past.

PicStich – a free downloadable program for iPhones, iPads, and SmartPhones.

ROOM SET-UP: NO room, go outside! Here is an opportunity to take your students outside of the classroom, to a park or historical area.

PROCEDURE: Students have a choice to create:

  • A sketch on the Green (the square in downtown Hudson)
  • Or a photomontage of a subject on the Green

Gather all students in the grass and ask them to quietly observe for a moment. What elements first catch their eye (Architecture? Nature? Certain unique details?) Consider how many other people have sat in the same spot and made similar observations throughout Hudson’s history.
How many of those other people may have decided to create an artwork on this Green? What are some reasons for creating that art? (for historical preservation, a gift, a lesson, they may enjoy art as a hobby, etc.etc.) Today we are going to create a piece of artwork based on your observations.

For those that choose photomontage- refer to the attached lesson. Remember to stand in ONE SPOT.

Usually students would return to school and compile the photos on Adobe Photoshop. If NAMTA teachers choose this lesson, they can use a Smartphone app such as PicStitch or another similar to get the idea. They can print out the final image on photo paper or exhibit the work on an online art gallery, like Artsonia.

For those that choose sketching- refer to the short lesson attached on perspective drawing. The other tips I give would be to:
Break a building down into geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, and circles. A building will begin to take on its form from the combination of shapes.

Use your pencil to measure distances, sizes, and angles. If students happen to begin shading, give a lesson on shadows, highlights, and middle tones using a value scale.

10 minutes before the end of sketching time, have students clean up and take photos of their subjects to finish work later. Have students share the beginning sketches with each other. It is very affirming, especially for those who have not done much artistically before. Students have the opportunity to finish the project on campus.


I had the wonderful oppertunity to work with the  North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA) who sent their teachers in training to our town and school to learn about the village model of a Montessori school. As the 13th established school in the country, and 50 plus years of educational history, many of these teachers were simply wowed and blown away with our school and all we had to offer. This was my first time working with NAMTA, and I was very excited to share all of my enthusiasm with them.

I was in charge of teaching the Drawing and Photography class over the two days. My first class was far more interested in the photography portion of the class. So we went right into the lesson on using the application. For most of use we have an android or an apple product that we can use. We downloaded the application, which the free app will give you a sizable amount of Zoosk (are you single?) ads and random “Specials on fireworks in your area” add that will appear. This is not to deter you from using the the app, but you you can buy the app it might be worth it, especially if you plan on using it with your students later.

I showed them to plant their feet in one location, and move only the camera, not your body. Choose a set of frames that has multiple boxes, this will make for a much more interesting composition. We stated out with taking images from all over the one area and then adding them to the frames. When I wanted to save the images, or share them, I choose to upload them to instagram. However the image can simply be saved to your photo library for printing later.

Below are the images I created with the class;

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For the second class, they were more interested in the drawing aspect of the lesson. We used clipboard, pencils, rulers and erasers for the lesson. We sat in an area where we could easily see several buildings from the corner view. This is the best way to see first hand what you would be drawing, if you were to draw a building in two point perspective.

Holding the paper in a landscape position, we began with one simple line down to middle of the page, leaving about an inch of space at the end. Then we drew our perspective points, one on either side of the page, towards the middle from the top and bottom. I explained to my students that we are not cheating by using rulers, that many of the great artists created their visions using helpful tools. The original one point perspective method was created during the renaissance era when Leonardo Da Vinci was creating his studies. Later on two point, and even three dimensional drawing methods were adapted from this.

We drew simple buildings, with simple windows, doors and roofs.



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