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Lesson Plans

Re: Drawing realistically

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sandra Hildreth (shildret)
Fri, 11 Jul 1997 11:20:50 -0400

I think it is important to provide opportunities for students to
practice accurate drawing from observation, but equally important to
provide some instruction in it too. Some of us are naturally gifted with
an eye for visual perception, many others are not. I can recall being in
a college Drawing course and while I had no difficulty drawing manmade
objects in still lifes, etc., I was struggling with the human figure
until a professor pointed out that there are essentially no straight
lines - only combinations of curves - in the the human form (an many
other living things). That little tip literally opened my eyes to what
had obviously been there all along, but I hadn't seen. So instead of
watching students struggle with drawing from observation, I go to great
lengths to actually try to give them advice and pointers on how they can
improve. Then the other side of the story is to also provide what I call
drawing from imagination activities - so those who do not have the
hand/eye coordination for observational drawing have a successful outlet
for their abilities. We can't expect everyone to be da Vinci's,
especially when more and more of our state ed departments are
recognizing the arts as an essential part of a core education. When all
students need to successfully complete an art/music course as a
graduation requirement, as they do in New York state, I think we have to
be fair a educators. It's our job to provide instruction and
enlightenment, not make everyone into an artist.

Sandra Hildreth
C.L.A.S.S. (Cultural Literacy through Art & Social Studies)
Art 7-12, Madrid-Waddington Central School, Madrid, NY 13660
Art Methods, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617