ART101:: Prehistoric Art | Cookie Redding | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Supplies


    • 3.

      Paleolithic + Mesolithic


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Class Project


    • 6.



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About This Class


In this series, we will be exploring our artist path!  In this class, you will learn about the main points of prehistoric art.  From our nomadic hunting and gathering past, to our baby steps in art and architecture, our world of art is a fascinating study and hope you enjoy the ride!

Meet Your Teacher

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Cookie Redding

Artist, Designer, Teacher


Good hello!

Welcome to my Skillshare page and channel. My name is Cookie and I'm a practicing artist and designer as well as a professor of art/design. I am a firm believer in experimentation, trial and error and practice makes perfect. Skillshare is a wonderful platform to flex those creative muscles and learn new things.

Be sure to hit that "follow" button so you get info on my new classes and updates. Be sure to follow me on facebook or instagram for my daily musings and art adventures.

*Learn lots of stuff about art, print design, web design and illustration!

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Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: hello and welcome to our one on one and this series. We're going to be exploring the world of art in this class we're going to learn about. Prius stores are from our nomadic Paleolithic era, the mess Olympic, where we sort of were in the transition to the Neolithic, those first inklings of our civilizations. We're going to learn about the structures and aren't surrounding it. Whether it's the art or object and the techniques surrounding it, I hope you enjoy. 2. Class Supplies: all right for a class supplies. It's pretty stripped out. The lectures are just going to be here on screen, and our class project is going. Teoh, involve paper and pencil if you know what he is. A pencil. You can use markers or charcoal, so the materials themselves will be up to you. But the minimum, a piece of paper and a pencil. 3. Paleolithic + Mesolithic: All right, let's go ahead and get started. Whenever we're dealing with prehistoric art with three sections, we're going to have the Paleolithic, the mess elliptic and the Neolithic. When dealing with any new terminology, I Let's look at the root word, so the rewards for this is going to be politic. In this case, politic is going to stand for Stone. If we look at the beginning of our words, Paleo is going to represent old Meso is going to represent middle, and Neo is going to represent new. So what we're dealing with is old stone age, middle Stone age and new Stone Age. So the 1st 1 we're going to do with is the Paleolithic, that old Stone Age. And many of the pieces at this time are going to be different than what we think of our in the scope of contemporary sense, where it's more art for art's sake. Art this time had more of a ritualistic, mystical feel till it, and ultimately we are going to know exactly the details of what was going on, because this will have been lost to the sands of time. But what we're finding is artist artists, predominantly at this period being created within caves and cave structures and as well some objects are going to be portable, since what we're dealing with is a more nomadic society where you aren't staying in one place. So the objects that you have need to be taken with you. One of the major cave discoveries that we have is the last co cave in France. And typically how these stories all start is that a person is walking in the field. And in this case, two boys were working in a field and their dog suddenly disappeared, and it up being in a cave. Within that cave, they saw all these paintings on the walls. Most notably is what's referred to as the Hall of Bulls. So some of these pieces are painted high up in the ceilings, so to speak. Whereas other paintings in the caves were on lower sections, even in tunnels where the artists would have had to have either been on the back or hands and knees to accomplish the painting. Now we're gonna use the term artist for this because we are going to be putting our definitions. I want a society that may not have used term like this and we're calling it art. But typically it's going to be seen mawr Object based So ritual object based painting object Ritual based. Uh, we are putting our terminology on that, so that is something that is important to keep in mind. So from the hall a bles, we have another example of the pieces, which is the Chinese horse. What's interesting with these pieces is that we see that there is a sense of realism and naturalism to it. It's often, ah, misconception that art at this time, you know, they have no idea what they're doing or what they're looking at, which we can tell from these came ings aren't true because they're rather sophisticated in they're styling. One of the more famous pieces of this era is the Venus of Will Indoor oftentimes referred to his woman of Welland Dorf. Since our linguistics are changing for how are our terminology is used, But traditionally these were known as the Venus figurines, and I have an example of two more after this, but there are quite a few penises out there, so the Venus figurines are actually quite interesting because one we don't quite know what's going on here. I mean, are they ritual objects? Are they talismans? Good luck charms something to carry around with you. Ah, to reinforce no fertility. We're not quite sure of the specifics. But what's interesting with all of the Venus figurines is there are similarities among all of them that need to be taken into consideration. The Venus is that we're going to be looking at. It all showcased similar exaggerations of the female form. So what's going to be of emphasis, of course, has been looking at this. We're gonna have rather rotund breasts. Large hips they will often times also have either a geometric or a triangular pubic region , and their hands are often going to be found resting on the breasts. Now, why this? What this object is comes into question is no. Is this a fertility figure? Is it a talisman? Our good luck charm why these all come into factor is because it's scale is not quite what we would think of. She's around 3 3.5 inches, so it's easy to put in your pocket or, you know, put whiner on that. Put it around, and that could be able to carry it wherever you're going from camp to camp. Many of these are gonna have this as a characteristic. There's a few that break from this, but they're going to have a portability that lends itself to the culture at this time. So the Venus is willing. Dorf was found in will on Dorf within Germany. And often the Venus is air going toe. Have you know their first sex, other named Venus of And the second part of name is gonna be where they're archaeological dig. You know where they found them? So the Venus of willing Dorf is probably the more popular off these, but it's well. We also have to look at the Venus of less huge, similar to the Venus willing, or if we see you know the exaggerated breast tips. Pubic region hands are resting on the breast. There's no individualistic characteristics of the face, but she's a little bit more stylized and streamline the most. Feels modern in a sense, so same portability, same style is ations different part of the world. And now time for one of our slight deviations. The Venus. If LaSalle is different than the other Venus is because she is not able to be seen in the round. She is a relief sculpture, and relief is either Ah, reduction or a carving into are in addition to a surface, but it's basically flat. Ah, this is a low relief sculpture, meaning there's not a lot of an impression. But if you notice we have, you know, the exaggerate hips breasts in descript head, the same fertility features are overemphasize, just like the other Venus is. So it's what was less CO. We have other caves within the European regions during the same techniques and stylization . Z. This is one of the scenes from the Cave of Shiavo. This one is actually a replica. So what ends up happening during the era of this caves being discovered? We, of course, don't really care about nor no have help keeping things in the same humidity. We don't worry about preservation as much. So a lot of these caves are now closed to the public because they've been damaged and in order to preserve them that have been closed. So when you go to these sites, often time, you're going to find replicas outside so you can still see what it would have been like. Heads have been able to go in it, so restoration is, of course important. But we see from this one. Similar stylization is we do have a sense of naturalism and over lacking and space. So what I love about the cave paintings is we're still dealing with the same principles, but devolving throughout different parts of our world in the same manner in Altamira. And this is a cave found in Spain. We, of course, have you guessed it the same common symbol ISMs of our animals or hunts. Ah, but this was one of the first ones discovered, and initially it was believed to have been ah, hoax. Or, you know, if the fake fraud. But once we found loco and the others, we realized that was indeed riel and authentic. She remains. Why these animals? So why do we have bison's horses, huh? Different types of animals, Some. We even have a couple human figures. They're typically bird headed shaman eso. That's why we're not short. That's more ritualistic based. Um, some of the proposed theories off with the animals, you know, showing what's around the area in case you were migrating from one camp to the next that we keep would know. Another theory is that it was almost like a target practice so that you could practice before the hunt or if it was ritual based. Add to that no, much like we would see stateside. We would give thanks to the animals for, you know, when we were hunting. So you thank the spirits before you kill and eat. Um, so same principle, perhaps just a different part of the world in a different time. So is it ritual? Is it hunting based? Um, it's going to be up to you on what you think, but we aren't quite sure. But what's nice is we can see what animals you know. We're around the regions at this time, whether they still exist or not. We have a documentation of the wildlife. That's what was our animals in our spurred haven't shamans. We have symbols that end up repeating throughout all of these caves. Uh, front simple circles to the sort of hashtags crosses two handprints, serpentine Xanthi symbols. While we don't exactly know what they are, are found in the majority of them. While we're far from having a formalized in a written language. This is the era where we need to figure out how do we tell ideas and concepts to people and or leave our marks. So as well as representing our natural world, these symbols are prevalent within society. At this time, though their meanings have been lost to us onwards to the mess Olympic. Now the mess Olympic is where we start focusing a little bit more with farming and agriculture and the early pockets of societies air going to start growing and expanding. So what we're going to find is a need for structures and support. Uh, not so much some of the housing, uh, but for formal gathering places or informal, I suppose in this case, one of our first baby steps into architecture A is the dolman. The dolman is a supported stone sort of looks like a table with the legs. And from this, we're going to evolve our architecture and take it further. But this is our first step. So in order to get more Hyatt's, we need to figure out how to get the first level of ICT and our dolman. These stones are the materials that we're gonna have around us that we're going to begin working off of 4. Neolithic: onwards to the Neolithic era in this area. We're going to see the shift from the nomadic hunting, gathering style of life. And we're gonna begin the early stages of civilizations and settlements. One of the main settlements that we're going to be finding through archaeology is shuttle Hayek. This slide specifically represents it in its archaeological dig site. But what we're finding is traces of patterns of early civilizations where groups are getting larger and starting Teoh, you know, work together agriculturally. We're getting early merchant stages. And this well, we are having more permanent structures and dwellings for those living within our settlements. This is early steps to larger established civilizations. We all have to start somewhere. One of the most interesting finds within this piece as well as the dwellings, is the Mother Goddess figurine. Figurine has echoes of what we were seeing, what the Venus figurines. We have no an almost in descript face. We have large breasts. Large hips has the sense of fertility. Uh, the only difference that we are noticing is unlike our Venus figurines, it almost looks like she's sitting upon a throne. So we know this would be a figure of higher importance. We're also finding the need to store supplies such as grains of lines and also burial or earns. So we're seeing decorative pottery. Uh, these are finds from China, and you're gonna notice Ah, a lot of the civilised. I'm gonna see civilizations. Early settlements are using this sort of geometric patterning forms. Um, what I always find interesting with the ceramics and during this time, and we're going to see it multiple cultures is. And so they're just having a flame, you know, container for holding grains or liquids or for cooking. Or in this case, you know, we have the funerary urns. Also, we took that extra step to make the vessel just a little bit more beautiful. So the aesthetic elements are starting to work their way within our settlements. Which brings us to one of our most popular and most possibly most well known of the forms of the Neolithic era. Is that of Stonehenge? So stone 100 courses ensconced and mystery. So whatever its purposes, I let you up to that. And it was a calendar, you know. Is it one of those, like, History Channel aliens? It's completely going to be up to you, but we're gonna look it on a structural level. So whether it be a calendar or what have you, What we're looking at is the next stage in the evolution of our architecture. One of the first terms we're going to associate is with this and others in the region and all throughout no early societies is the concept of Meghalaya. If we're to break this turn down, mega means big lift. We already know mean stone. So we're dealing with big stones is gonna be this big stone in the ground. You can also see, you know, plain mega less. You know, within the fields, you can see them akin to the decorative ones on Easter Island. We can see them here within the hensh. So our Stonehenge, uh, within Western Europe are also going to see a version of this. But they're gonna be called men years. Uh, these were tall, upright stones. They're gonna be, ah, bit thinner, more elongated or as the mega less with these giant masses. Most notably is the advancement with these placements of stunts. And we're going to see the first systems, the structures at the post and the little we can still see the post on little systems and use within our architecture day. Any of our door frames, entrances to our houses. You're going to see this too sort of leg system and on top of it, a little table. So it's a little table top, and the tabletop is going to be the lentil section of our post and lentil and the to sort of legs that are supporting it. Those air going to be the post. So our posts and lintels are going to help us get almost first steps and stages to elevate in architecture, getting more. How deep? A little bit more grandeur, too, our designs. 5. Class Project: All right. So for your class project, the thing about it is forms of symbols. So we were dealing with the symbols of the bison were dealing with the symbols of the fertility figures. Or, you know, the post of lentils. We had circles, squares, dots, serpent, teens. What symbols would you use if you were working with cave art today? So I want you to grab a piece of paper. I want you to grab some either markers or charcoal or pencils and drawl, a syriza symbols that you think would represent modern society. Should we only have, you know, our paper and our tools at hand, nothing else. So it's stripping it down to the bare bones and, as always, share your projects in the class projects below so we can see your creations. Remember, have fun, relax and think about what symbols would we as a civilization represent today? 6. Conclusion: so from early nomadic life where we were just hunters and gatherers. Adrenaline are bison's, whether they be for ritual or for hunt on our cave walls to fertility figures, first steps and architecture with our dullness and arm angle. It's you see, civilizations begin Teoh emerge and unify and become the next step and our evolution. So I hope you've enjoyed this class I look forward to seeing, you know, following Serious bullet are 101 explorations. Have a great day.