Lawrence used the artists language of line, shape, color,
and pattern to portray his subjects. His style is the
way in which he used these elements.
community collages: see Childrens
Art. Students can work together to create a group
collage of their neighborhood. Cut bold, brightly colored
shapes representing buildings, cars, buses, trucks, and signs.
Combine these elements, overlapping shapes and colors, and
creating patterns, as Jacob Lawrence did in his depictions
of his community.
lines, shapes, colors create a pattern. Look at Panels 1 and
3 of The Migration Series.
How many patterns can you find? Of lines? Of shapes? Of color?
at the figures in Ironers
and in the Harriet Tubman Series, Panel 4.
Which figures look heavy, solid? Why? Which figures are light
and lively? How did Jacob Lawrence achieve these effects?
Look at the shapes and colors.
Lawrence was a master at using poses and gestures to convey
mood. Are the figures in Ironers
happy and joyful? What visual clues does the artist give to
suggest state of mind? Look at the shape of their shoulders,
the position of their heads, and the lines of their arms.
often used diagonal lines to suggest motion. How does he do
that in Ironers?
Find the lines and trace the direction of movement. Compare
the use of diagonal lines in this picture with Harriet Tubman Series, Panel 4.
at these two images, see how the artist used the pictures
space. Which figures fill the space? Which figures move through
the space? In which picture is there more space? How do you
and Studio Corner.
In these pictures Lawrence used diagonal lines to create perspective,
suggesting deep space. Compare them with Over the Line
or Munich Olympic Games.Is
the space deep or flattened? Are the forms and figures inside
the space or pushed forward to the surface? How does your
eye move around the different images?
Lawrence told stories through his art, unifying a series visually
through repeated colors, shapes, and patterns. Think of a
family event or story, and divide it into its beginning, middle,
and end. Draw your story in a series of sheets or panels.
frequently conveyed meaning through his placement and poses
of figures. Look at The Migration Series, Panel 19.
Where are the figures located? How do the figures relate to
the picture space? Lawrence used the composition symbolically
to express the idea of discrimination. Look at Confrontation at the Bridge
and Card Game.
What is happening? How do you know? What clues has the artist