The Arts of Art
This exhibition reveals the techniques, tricks and trade of the art world from perspective to lighting, to composition. It looks into some of the major developments in the art world and how they shaped what people painted, how they painted it and what they painted with.
Exhibition requirements

• A gallery with about 100 sq metres of open floor space.
• Electrical power – five plug sockets.
• The exhibition must be supervised at all times when in use, preferably by staff accustomed to working in an interactive environment.

Exhibit list

The origins of paint – Paints are easily available these days because they are man-made. This was not always the case, and some colours used to come from very unusual places!
Draftsman’s grid – Visitors recreate one of four still lifes by arranging the objects in the table. This is much easier when the objects are arranged using the grid to break down the larger composition into many smaller ones.
Composition – Artists benefit from the careful consideration of where and how to compose their main subjects. Learn about some of the main compositions and find out why they work so well. Look at some old masterpieces and guess what compositions they used with the composition grids.
Materials – Paints, brushes, pencils and chalks…where do they all come from and what are they made from? Find out for yourself in this exhibit and see some more unusual materials.
Artist’s glass – First known to be devised and used in the 15th century, this ancient drawing aid was used to study perspective by artists including Leonardo da Vinci. This exhibit allows the visitor to create their own masterpiece using a real artist’s glass and to effortlessly capture true linear perspective.
Vitruvian man – Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man is a well known image. But who was he and what was he all about? We supply some of the main ratios of the human body and face calculated by Leonardo and depicted on the ‘ideal’ Vitruvian.
Colour combinations – We all have different ideas of what colours go well together. In the art world, there are several well known combinations from the colour chart that form classic combinations. Pick your colours and use the exhibit to see if they are ‘analogous’ or ‘harmonious’.
Vanishing point – Perspective is used to capture depth on an otherwise flat canvas. Vanishing points are key to drawing correct perspective yet the principle is surprisingly easy. Use the strings to find out for yourself in this exhibit.
Date the art – From pre-history to today, advancements in knowledge and technology have continued to opened up new possibilities to artists. The Date the Art game challenges each player to work out the sequence of events using the clues supplied.
Lignt and dark – Chiaroscuro is the Italian name for a technique of introducing dramatic lighting to a painting. Visitors will be able to light up their own faces that they put through a series of graphic cards depicting certain styles and moods.
Lighting up the art world – The type of light that an art gallery uses can affect how a painting looks. Our miniature gallery has two light sources. Visitors can change the light source while observing how this affects the colours of the paintings.
Hidden meanings – Meaning is often embedded into art, much of it lost in time as people, society and what’s important changes over the years. Here are four paintings to unpick – revealing a lot more than you might think.
Anamorphic mat – Most paintings look the same from whatever angle you view them but anamorphs are distorted so they have to be viewed from just one spot to look right. If you stand near the edge of this mat, you might suddenly see down into a basement room.
Mixing colours – Do you remember your primary colours? Or secondary? Use this exhibit to mix a range of colours using coloured paddles on a light box and see how many different colours you can create.