After exploring these various drawing materials, students practiced drawing from observation (or close looking) through a series of different types of sketches("gesture" and "contour") in ebony pencil. Students first observed their shoe, in particular the outline of the shoe. Students thought about this outline as one long piece of string, then tried to draw this outline by not picking up their pencils. This required them to look at their shoe as much as their drawings, and to carefully study all the bumps and curves in the outline of the shoe. Next, students did a blind contour drawing of their shoe, which required them to draw their shoe while only looking at the shoe, not at their drawing. Students learned the importance of observation through this excercise. After this, students learned to draw their shoes as quick lines and shapes from observation. Unlike contour line drawings, gesture drawings require the artist to pick up their hand and move it quickly, all over the paper, in order to learn how to draw the correct proportions and shapes in the object they are drawing.
After this, students used conté crayon to add value and texture to their shoes.
Finally, students looked at Van Gogh's Paintings of shoes and discussed who might have worn the shoes and why.
|"Shoes", Vincent Van Gogh, from MetMuseum.org|
|"A Pair Of Shoes", Vincent Van Gogh, from Harpers.org|
We learned that certain visual clues in an image (i.e., color, shape, line, texture, etc) tell a story. Students were asked, "If the shoe in the painting could go on a journey, where might it go and why?". Students then thought about this question in relation to their shoes and came up with ideas for where their shoes might go if they could go anywhere. Students then created a white line drawing of this journey in the background.