Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fifth Grade Fabulous Figure Drawing!

Welcome back to the new school year!! 

This year has been very busy so far, in and out of the art room, which is why this is my first post of the year and I am a bit belated in welcoming you all back! With this in mind, I thought I would open this year's blogging with a various special grade....the fifth grade! The fifth graders this year are particularly significant to me because they were the first Kindergartners I had when I started at this school!
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.

Aimee, 5-308

Ashleigh, 5-328

Jayden R., 5-328

Paul, 5-316

Week 2: Curves & Angles
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.

Kelly, 5-308

Larry, 5-327

Lian-Wei, 5-308

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.
Karen, 5-327

Liana, 5-327

Michael, 5-327

Natalie, 5-327
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

Derron, 5-327

Emily, 5-327

Jaydin R., 5-327

Nathaniel, 5-328
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!

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