Upside-down: Get a different perspective

When I was at Teachers’ College, I remember approaching my art course with trepidation. I wasn’t too shabby at art as a child, but as I had effectively given up the subject at the ripe old age of 13, it would be fair to say I wasn’t what you’d call confident!

One of the first things I remember our 2 lecturers getting us to do, was to sketch FAST (in 15 mins) the line drawing they put on the Overhead Projector (remember those?). The thing is, they put the drawing on upside-down. Deliberately.

The drawing was clearly beyond me, but as I’ve always been a good student, I duly attempted to copy it as best I could.

When our 15 mins was up, we were told to turn our drawings the right way up, and I think 99% of the students were amazed at having done a lot better than they anticipated. When the drawing was upside-down, we had to keep looking up to check we were putting the lines in the right places, not just guess from our prior knowledge of the subject.

It reminds me that our perception of our own abilities (or lack thereof) can sometimes affect the quality of our performance. If we look at something from another perspective, we might just surprise ourselves.

For my Extra Curricular Activity with the iPads,  I found an image online that was upside-down, and had my students do the same thing, but using Brushes on the iPad.

Here are two students’ representations of the illustration above. I will include them both upside-down and right-side-up for comparison.

Michelle, in Grade 6 did this one:

Michelle 1

Ji Min in Grade 5 did this one:


I’m pretty proud of both them!

3 thoughts on “Upside-down: Get a different perspective

  1. K-L,
    Love the idea of using the iPads to gain new perspective in art! I think the kids did a great job with their drawings! You’ve inspired me to try this with mine on my own! Just wondering, did using technology for art create a positive environment because the students could erase, stop, and restart as many time as they want? Lots of times I see students give up because the constant erasing has made their work “messy”. I was wondering if that was somewhat alleviated?

    Great idea!


    • Hey Jess,

      Yes, there was no worry about erasing, which was nice. One of the other good things about this particular app is that when you’re happy with one part, you can add a layer on top or below the existing drawing, allowing you to create say a background without worrying about the edges of the image you drew initially, or carry on with details that you are worried you might muck up without fear of destroying your whole ‘painting’.


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