Welcome back to the new school year!!
We have started out the year with a 4-week life drawing unit based on lessons in the book "Observation Drawing with Children: A Framework for Teachers" by Nancy Smith and the Drawing Study Group, (http://www.amazon.com/Observation-Drawing-With-Children-Framework/dp/0807736910). Teachers (and parents who are interested in doing some art with your children), I highly recommend this book and any others by the fabulous educator Nancy Smith!
Students started by learning about life (figure) drawing, in which students draw a live model (Ms. Westerberg and Ms. Ashley) from observation. Students created several studies (quick drawings) every class, focusing on different learning each session. Because the focus was on the figure and the various ways we could draw the position the figure was in, students did not draw details. In order to focus on looking at the figure and our process (instead of an end-product), students used used conté crayon (a compressed charcoal) that enables students to work quickly. Also, students did not use erasers in the creation of these studies, but learned to embrace “mistakes” and work them into their drawings.
Week 1: Proportion and Gesture
Students considered the basic proportions of the human figure through close observation, in particular big shapes and how they compare in size to one another. Students then learned how they might re-present these proportions in drawings based on their observations.
|Jayden R., 5-328|
Students observed that the figure is a series of interconnecting and interdependent angled and curved parts. Students learned to translate these parts into contrasting, connecting shapes in their studies.
Week 3: Mass & Weight
Students observed how the figure is an object with mass and weight, then learned how to translate that mass and weight into lines and shapes on paper. Students considered how they might draw heavily (with dark marks) for weight bearing parts of the body, and lightly (with light marks) for areas holding no weight.
Week 4: Edges & Contours
Students looked at the edges and contours of the figure and learned that fabric folds in different ways (depending on the fabric’s texture) in places where the body bends. Students learned to translate these edges and contours as various lines around the outside of the figure, as well as lines that bend across the figure.
|Crystal, 5 -328|
|Jaydin R., 5-327|
Students are now taking all of their life-drawing knowledge and using it to create full-body self-portraits that show one way in which they help their family. Look out for a post on these drawings in the coming weeks!