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Lesson Plans

Thoughts on Copying

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David Zimmerman (fastedy)
Sun, 23 Mar 1997 20:34:21 -1000

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I agree with Carolyn. Copying is a good way to learn for many people. For
years I assigned my beginning level high school students a self portrait
after several lessons on the face in class (to be done over a weekend at
home in front of a mirror). The drawings were always terrible and the
kids got very discouraged. One year I relented and had them do a graph
enlargement from an 8/10 baby picture or school picture. They came out
great and all the kids felt successful about their experience. It is an
exercise in learning where the different facial parts go and not
necessarily a work of "art". Later in the year they did a self portrait in
the mirror and they came out a lot better. Attitude is very important in
creating art. I explain all the limitations in working from photographs.
Once they draw from a photograph and from life they can really see why you
can get more visual clues and information from life than a 2-D photo.

I also use the upside down Picasso drawing from Betty Edward's book at the
beginning of the year. Its definitely copying but is another example of
how copying can sharpen the visual skills. Its a real confidence builder,
especially for adults who are sure they can't draw.

Deb Rosenbaum

A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the butt.

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