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Lesson Plans

Re: sketchbook motivation /semi-long

From: Christa Wise (
Date: Fri May 26 2000 - 05:24:37 PDT

  • Next message: Lawrence A. Parker: "RE: twist on "art show incident""

    Re: "I am frustrated after two Honors kids were complaining about sketching."

    Wow. I guess I believe in sketchbooks. I teach drawing in H.S., and I
    feel it is exactly like practicing an instrument. Quite simply, the more
    you draw, the better you get. I can even tell if I, personally, have had a
    "lay-off." I simply don't draw as well.

    I think it is essential to use the sketchbook as a resource for future
    projects. It has to make sense to the kids. I think examples of what a good
    sketch looks like is also helpful. In my beginning classes, I assign
    specific views, again, always with future projects in mind (e.g. Imagine
    what would make a good relief print, and assign that topic for a few weeks.
     Have kids look up historic pottery and sketch good shapes or surface
    treatments before beginning ceramics). I give a handout for each
    assignment that shows a drawing I have made to illustrate the concept.

    In advanced classes, the assignments are always drawn from life, 3 to 5 per
    week depending on the course. All I ask is that students "compose the whole

    There was a thread a week or so ago, about art teachers who can't draw. I
    would bet that if they made 36 drawings as examples for student sketchbook
    assignments, they would all become better at drawing and representing what
    they see. That, of course, would justify the assignments quite clearly.

    You need to practice to draw well.


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