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Re: [teacherartexchange] Learning by copying?


From: Woody Duncan (woodyduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 17 2008 - 21:16:32 PDT

I work from photos myself but they are my own photos. I do not work
from magazines or even other
peoples photos. It's not just the ownership of the image that bothers
me. My art is personal and my
camera serves as my sketch book. I compose in the camera. Artists
have found some value in copying
from old masters but students need to learn to see by drawing from
observation before they utilize
photos. The camera flattens space for them - they need to learn to
translate the 3-D world onto a
flat plane themselves. I'll be reading with interest what other
teachers have to say on this topic. If
you do have students copy - please make them understand what the
arguments are against it.

On Aug 16, 2008, at 10:31 PM, Andrea Cope wrote:

> I'm about to begin my first year teaching high school art, though
> I'm a seasoned teacher in other fine arts courses. My colleagues
> insist that no copying ever be allowed, for any reason. While I
> understand the importance of the students learning to develop
> confidence in their own creativity, I also see the value of
> learning via imitation. I've certainly improved my own skills by
> examining drawings and photographs and trying to reproduce what I
> see. I saved all of the responses to the recent question about
> artistic process. Several of you mentioned working from
> photographs. How is that different? Or is it? I'd like to be
> able to offer a different point of view to my teammates but I need
> a better foundation. And I'm open to the possibility that my
> instinct is wrong. Do you allow your students to copy as part of
> the learning process? If not, why?
> Andrea

Woody, Retired in Albuquerque

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