A Study of Depth Representation in Pictorial Art: the Psychology of Development as Basis for a Theory of Art Instruction
Master of Arts (MA)
Paul B. Arnold
Art, Instruction, Perception, Spatial, Depth perception, Teaching
The main objective of the study is to propose a provisional plan for an improved teaching program aimed at the development and application of "spatial" relationships in the graphic arts. In the previous section, we have mentioned the role of past experience in building up the perceptual level. However, teaching requires that we make the best possible use of student's existing level of experience, and build upon that in planning the optimum use of the present experience. By the proper use of the immediate learning situation, we may assist students to become more aware of and project their understanding of "spatial" relationships through a sequential program of study. For the problem in artistic activity is not simply to perceive depth, but to discover or invent means for its representation. If a student's artistic activity has been meager, he may experience or realize for the first time, symbolic, pictorial forms embodying basic concepts of space on which he can build progressively richer coordinations of depth conventions. If the student's artistic activity has been adequate or full, problems in composition involving rather elementary ideas of depth will serve as a recapitulation and reinforcement of already understood techniques. In such a case, his compositions are likely to show a more sophisticated control of the problems of depth and to develop aesthetic qualities and complexities as yet inaccessible to the more naive student. In either case, both past experience and present opportunity should interact to determine the precise nature of the accomplishment. Recognizing the pertinence of immediate experience to genuine learning and the development of perception, educational philosophy ought to seek every means to align teaching methods with a natural process of learning.
McHugh, Patricia Tool, "A Study of Depth Representation in Pictorial Art: the Psychology of Development as Basis for a Theory of Art Instruction" (1962). Honors Papers. 775.