On Sun, 23 Mar 1997, Carolyn Roberts wrote:
> There are so many styles of LEARNING and the only way to try to reach
> ALL students is to use SEVERAL methods of teaching students to draw,
> which is what I try to do. I teach contour drawing, gesture drawing, how
> to measure when drawing faces, plus copying from a picture (magazine or
> whatever) using a grid....I try to use every
> method I can think of to reach my students. I also teach students "how
> to see" what's in front of them, but some will never "see" it, unless
> they actually see it drawn on paper for them. I teach middle school and
> I find that this age group has more difficulty drawing from their
> imagination, but I do not think this holds true for elementary students.
> When my students are working on a lesson where copying is involved (the
> grid enlargement), I explain the reason that we ARE "copying" and not
> drawing on our own. I do stress that this is just a "learning method"
> and they should NOT rely on this type of drawing...
> Some students may possibly ONLY learn by copying and this has been a
> practice throughout history. I find that students will copy what they
> see WHILE it's in front of them, but when it's not there and as they
> practice on their own, their own style begins to form. No matter what
> the opinion is on copying, students are going to do it...they copy each
> other's drawings that they like all the time.
> I have a student that I have had for four years. This student has been
> drawing (copying) from comic books "forever"...but in class when we
> would have a lesson drawing from "real life" (still life setup)...the
> student would have difficulty drawing it. BUT this year I can really
> see a difference in his drawing from life. He has been focusing on
> portraits and his skills are great...there is no way that COPYING hurt
> this student in any way and, in fact, I feel that the copying that he
> has done has greatly improved his "seeing" (drawing skills)...after all,
> that's what drawing actually is...
> I do feel that a "steady diet of copying" would NOT help a student
> develop self-confidence in his/her own drawing skills, but I certainly
> do feel that "copying" has it's place in teaching of art, especially at
> the middle school level. At this age, they know whether their drawings
> look "correct" or not and if they do not develop a sense of
> self-confidence about their drawing skills, you can rest assure they
> will not continue to draw after this.