I developed a way to teach the principles that is sort of a "discovery"
approach.I tell the kids that I know they already know a lot about art
and how to put together a work or art, so lets see if they can figure
out what I'm trying to do or show.
I do a work of art with crayons on a paper on the wall. The first thing
I do is shade in the whole surface with a color, then sit down
exhausted, like I'm done. The kids all say "There's nothing there!" or
"You didn't do anything!" Ah, ha - "There's no emphasis" Then I might
add a shape in the middle. Then I proceed to add shapes all on one side
of the paper. They usually comment about everything being on one side .
Ah, ha, it's out of balance. Of course, I always ask "Is that bad?" to
allow for different ways to approach a work of art. Then I go on to
proportion, making shapes of different sizes. And so on...
I usually have to emphasize that I'm not trying to draw SOMETHING
because they try to guess what it is. It's more an exercise in placement.
At least it's a more lively approach than just words and definitions.