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Re: contour drawing-long

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From: KPRS (KPRS_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Aug 31 2002 - 21:50:45 PDT


For the beginner high schoolers, their first experience with contour drawing
is when the come to the room and see me up on one of their tables waiting
for them. I tell them to get 4 sheets of paper (and I give 'em the big
stuff) 2 markers (water soluable ones) and to get to their stations. I tell
them that we are starting contour line exercises, and that basically it
means you can't lift up your Marker, but must draw me in timed poses (they
have no clue what that means). I say I will put the timer on, and say GO,
and then I will pose and they will draw, remembering to draw all the
wrinkles but not the ones on my face.(I also tell them NOT to do the face at
all, because we haven't done faces yet in class, and contour line faces will
kill an otherwise strong drawing). So in bewilderment they stare at me, I
say GO, and stop moving (I have this posing thing down after 27 years). The
timer dings in 1 minute. During that time they are frantically drawing. I
am staring and believe it or not saying like the preverbial ventrilloquest
"hey Frank, you picked up your marker, you are an art cheat!!!", and scan
the room while they draw. The timer dings, and everyone cracks up laughing.
I say "hold up your drawings above your head", and everyone looks at them
and we all crack up laughing (tension). I get a lot of "sorry Mrs. H, but
you really don't look like this"...we do this continuously for 1, 2, 5, and
gradually 10 minute drawings. Over the days they get better....and THEN we
take brushes with water and take the watersoluable marker-lines and make the
drawings have form by extending the color out from the lines into the body.
In 3 days these kids go from total bewilderment, to total astonishment as
their drawings come out quite good. I, however, don't really get any
thinner or taller in their drawings....I am still short and a bit
'saftig'..... (Oh, and I always wear interesting clothes, so that they are
forced to do interesting lines with contour line...they are told repeatedly
that they are not drawing a 'map' of me).

San D

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