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Lesson Plans

FWD: Re: drawing realistically

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Brenda L. Bain (BAINB)
Sat, 12 Jul 1997 09:37:40 -0500 (EST)

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Date: Fri, 11 Jul 1997 20:40:48 EST
From: "Brenda L. Bain" <BAINB>
Subject: Re: drawing realistically
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I must say Amen! to Bunki, Sandy, Rosa, and others that mentioned that
drawing realistically and from observation is very important in the
elementary grades.

I teach pre K-5th. We draw from imagination and observation on all grade
levels. Variety is very important in an art program. I do put special
emphasis on observational drawing starting in the 3rd to 4th grades.

I believe that observational (realistic) drawing is not so much of an
eye-hand skill as it is an eye-mind skill. What we know and what we see
are sometimes at conflict. All 4th graders know that chairs and tables
have legs that are equal in length, but when that chair/table is seen from
across the room some of the legs appear of different lengths.

Teaching children (or anyone else for that matter) to draw realisticly is
to teach them to observe, analyze, and step back from what they are
drawing. They begin to abandon the symbol system that they have been using
to represent the world around them (squares and triangles for houses) for a
one that that consists of line and shapes and relationships.

It is very frustrating to know that something you have drawn doesn't look
right and not knowing how to fix it. That is why observational drawing is
important to elementary students. It does take guidance and patience on
the part of the teacher, but it is so rewarding.

I noticed that no one has mentioned Betty Edward's Drawing on The Right
Side of the Brain. I really like the book/technique she presents. Any

Brenda Bain
St. John Elementary
Quincy, Florida

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