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Lesson Plans

Re: Copying

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Teresa Tipton (
Tue, 25 Mar 1997 22:50:34 -0800 (PST)

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I'm curious why you don't believe in grids. Grids challenge students to
translate a drawing (which can be their own interpretation of something)
spatially, demonstrating proportion. Besides being a beautiful math
integration for all those academics who need to find a reason for art, it
is wonderful way to make the "aha" go off about how to do blow-ups that
are relatively close to the
original. A good way of trying it out is to cut up a poster into
rectangles or squares and draw two perpendicular grid lines through
each piece of the image and have students scale up or down with the image.
Kids as young as third grade have success and enjoy it. Assemble the
pieces as a blown up or down image. You see where your scale or proportion
is off if your piece doesn't quite connect.

Teresa Tipton

On Tue, 25 Mar 1997, Dolores A. Lombardi wrote:

> I have been reading the comments about copying with interest as I have
> ambivalent thoughts on the subject. I feel that, when students work from a
> photograph or a reproduction, they lose a personal and direct interpretation
> of space, light, color, line and texture which comes from their own
> experience of reality, nor are they as involved in the design of the
> composition. However, I also feel that, after enough principles and teacher
> directed assignments have been taught, I must give my students an
> opportunity to be the artist. A fundamental issue here is freedom of
> choice; choice of a meaningful subject is a primary aspect of creating art.
> Given the limitations of time, resources and the environment of the art
> room, many students will work from photographs which represent, to them,
> more lofty or dramatic visions than the still life or interior scene that
> can be constructed in the classroom; some students create amazing images
> directly from imagination. I have come to respect their choice, the
> different ways our minds work, and the value of what is meaningful to an
> individual at this particular point in his or her life. For me, this is
> what makes what we are doing "art," and not craft.
> I don't believe in using grids. At least without a grid, one will be forced
> to develop drawing skills, and perhaps also to be more selective in making
> adjustments and changes in the design, different from the original picture;
> more of the chracter of the student is demanded in the interpretatation, and
> "mistakes," the fingerprints of individuality, are less likely the be
> smoothed away. It is interesting how some students develop personal
> paintings that evolve out of, but are not a copy of, the photograph; they
> infuse the image with their own experiences and imagination.
> I also feel that copying an existing artwork may be more helpful than
> working from a photograph, particularly if one feels a kinship to the artist
> being copied. It is a great way to study that work, to make that technique
> part of your own background, and to develop your vision. It is a practice
> which has been used by artists throughout time to teach themselves, and can
> sometimes give more instruction in design, drawing and painting than
> mimicking the illusionistic effects of photography.

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