Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Art Lesson


My beginner’s art class yesterday went well. They drew their little hearts out. I had them do a drawing exercise from the book, “Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain.” I copied a very funky line drawing by Picasso, turned it upside down, put a coversheet over it, and then moved the coversheet ½ inch to let the students draw only what they saw. They had no idea what they were drawing. The key was to draw only what you saw; then move the sheet another ½ inch to reveal more of the picture and draw some more. Sometimes breaking down a picture line by line instead of trying to draw the whole thing makes drawing easier. Sometimes students get overwhelmed with the whole picture, and the brain can play tricks and make you see things wrong. It was a lesson in drawing the lines exactly as you saw them. As more of the picture was revealed, the students could make adjustments to make the lines come together. They did very well with only a little whining. After this exercise, I took out the photo of Jesse (the one I posted a few days ago). It was really very simple without much detail, and I asked them to do a line drawing. It did not go well. They struggled to get the shape right. I teased them that maybe I should turn the photo upside down and cover part of it.

I think my students did great even if they did not understand the application of the lesson on the next assignment. We will keep at it. That is what teachers do. They teach over and over again the same principles until the light goes on.

For a big laugh, go over to Random Laundry and watch this Home Depot commercial.

6 comments:

Buck said...

They teach over and over again the same principles until the light goes on.

But... what if the light never comes on? Which would be the case with me and art... ;-)

Bag Blog said...

Buck, I know you have a great appreciation for art. And I would bet that you could be taught to draw what you see. The key is in the seeing or possibly it is in the "want to."

Mezzo SF said...

hmmmm, even *I* might be able to do the upside-down-drawing-covered-up thing. (I was a good student - except for the C's I got in art class!!)

And, Lou, ya'll are welcome at ANY time. It would be fun to have you & Jesse.

Becky said...

I think the hardest thing for a beginner to overcome is the mental block he has against drawing. Once you get them to NOT draw an object, but shapes and lines, they do much better. At least that was the case with me. I have that book, but have never really worked from it. My favorite was Drawing for Dummies by Brenda Hoddinott.

Doc said...

What a cool exercise!

Bag Blog said...

Mezzo, if I could only sing...

Becky, mental block is true in all sorts of situations - English, math, art, etc. Once you break them down, they become much simpler. It all depends on how important a subject is to you.

Doc, thanks. The more my students whine, the cooler they think the exercise. Because when they complete the exercise, they think they have really done something.