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Lesson Plans

Re: Figure Drawing

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Thu, 2 Jul 1998 21:07:42 EDT

Dear Gail,

I have been teaching figure drawing to high school students for 27 years and I
have found that using a book by Nicolides called "The Natural Way to Draw" has
been very helpful.

He starts out with quick gesture drawing and then starts to block in the
figure with small curved shapes and then progresses to contour drawing. I use
about 2 weeks for this unit and start with 10-15 second gestures and evolve to
30 seconds ( 1-2 days). Next day try gestures and then block in the figures
using small curved lines to show the folds of material in the clothing and the
general proportions of the figure. I call this part throwing and catching by
using strokes that describe both sides of the figure with each stroke. You
will be looking for guides in the figure to line up proportions and positions
of body parts (2 days). After this you can evolve into slow contour studies
that take up 60 minutes. At the end of the project they use all three methods
to produce 6-8 contour studies and then we move to faces and hands

The project that follows uses their drawings to create a montage composition
of 3 or more studies that are overlapped slightly with the use of tracing
paper. From here youcan use paint relief, collage colored pencil, etc. to
make a finished product. I do this with my Art 3 class and it is always a
hit. I try to vary the outcome project and so they never see the same result

Ken Schwab
San Jose, CA