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Re:[teacherartexchange] copying

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From: artsymartsy (artsymartsy_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Aug 12 2006 - 14:52:07 PDT


(You wrote:
> . . . Copying a drawing that is projected upside down is a good activity
. . .

 IS COPYING A GOOD LEARNING EXPERIENCE?

 They grow up visually handicapped as compared to those who learn and become
competent under the instruction of a good drawing teacher. If you do not
have an art teacher, you do the best you can. You learn by copying and you
learn from drawing books that give the formulas from drawing experts
who are trying to sell books.

 Our brains develop quite differently when we learn to compose flat pictures
from things that are three dimensional than when we merely imitate a
picture. Also, our brains develop quite differently when drawing from
formulas out of drawing books than when learning to figure out our own
conclusions from our own observations and experimentations.

 I hope for brains that can think on their own based on their own
observations, experiences, and experiments. I honestly fear a world in
which brains that have been taught to believe in and depend on experts.

 Marvin Bartel)

Ok, before I start I just wanted to tell Marvin that I respect his thoughts
and ideas. I quite often use his web site to get ideas- thank you, Marvin. I
understand what you say about copying vs. observational drawing, however,
not all students are spatially intelligent. These students need other ways
of learning to draw. Some students find it difficult to know where to start
in an observational drawing, because they caught up in all the details. In
order for these students to enjoy drawing they must experience a sense of
achievement or success. This is where copying comes in. Copying a 2D picture
or drawing is easier than drawing from life. Plus, copying a drawing that is
upside down is a way to shut down the critical side of the brain and
hopefully activate the creative side. The goal is for the student to feel
confident about his or her work. Once confidence is built then you can move
on to observation of real life.

I am an artist and a certified art educator. I was a self-taught copier
until high school. I copied anything that interested me. It was the only way
I knew to be artistic. Was this wrong? No, it was not. It was a huge part of
my art education. Throughout school I was considered a talented artist. In
high school I was introduced to observational drawing and my realistic
drawing abilities greatly improved. In college, observational drawing was
extremely important, but we also went to the Museum of Fine arts weekly to
copy from the Masters.

Observational drawing may the preferred way to teach drawing skills but
please do not discriminate against copying. It does have its place in art
education. Having said that I tell my high school students who are serious
about improving their artistic abilities to draw, draw and draw some more
from observation.

Martha

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