Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Patterned Columns a la Siena Cathedral

Every now and then Pinterest provides a wonderful "find." That's how I felt when I stumbled upon a zentangle blog (here) that took its inspiration from the columns inside the wonderful Siena Cathedral. There are some great images of the cathedral's interior on Google.
The site teaches how to get the 3-D look, as well as how to "wrap" the design with a frame. What a great way to reinforce repetition, pattern, line direction (vertical, horizontal, parallel) and shading!!!

Since the only materials needed are a fine line marker, pencil, ruler and paper or board, it is great lesson to leave for a sub when you are going to be out of your class, too!

4th graders started by drawing their frame. Next they drew vertical pairs of lines to mimic the columns. These can be parallel, that is not necessary. Single vertical lines can be used to create a zig-zag effect. The next step was to draw horizontal bands that they would fill with patterns. ** Some students needed help seeing the arc lines connecting the verticals:))

 Then they created border designs that wrapped around their piece. The last step was to shade one side of the columns or zig-zag and shade the interior side of their frame border to add depth.
Here are few that are almost finished.


  1. Stunning! I pinned it for next years Op Art lesson. Thanks!

    1. Cool! I loved the op art pieces you posted recently:))