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Re: [teacherartexchange] copying

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From: Woody Duncan (woodyduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Aug 12 2006 - 15:38:20 PDT


I myself draw from photos (2-D) that I take but I know and believe that
observational drawing is the best way to learn and grow. I would not
had the
skills and confidence I have today if it had not been for a series of
good
art teachers who insisted I draw from observation. On occasion I myself
gave students 2-D images to copy (it's hard to bring a lion into the
room)
but I always explained over and over that this was not the best way
to learn.

On Aug 12, 2006, at 3:52 PM, artsymartsy wrote:

> 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.

If they are caught up in the details then it is our job to show them
how to ignore
those details. It is our job to teach all students the skills
necessary to be
confident with drawing from observation. It is especially that "non
spatially
intelligent" student who needs our help to gain skills and confidence.

> 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.

Of course upside down drawing helps learn how to stop naming as they
draw. I've had students when given a photo of a bird, turn it upside
down so
they could more easily draw it. Yet, I'd rather have a stuffed bird
in the classroom
for students to draw from. Let's get our concepts straight, using
photos as
a drawing resource is not the same as "coping". That word is loaded with
negative connotations. We can use 2-D models and teach students to be
creative in the way they are used in their work.

> 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.

Greater confidence will be had by teaching the looking and seeing skills
needed for observational drawing. Then you will have a very confident
student artist.
                                        Woody

Woody, Retired in Albuquerque
         mailto:woodyduncan@comcast.net

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