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I discovered her techniques about 10 yrs. ago in reading DRAWING FOR OLDER
CHILDREN & TEENS and use some of her ideas with my 7th grade drawing unit.
I especially like her idea of breaking down the whole into parts. I use her
worksheets found on pp. 82-83. I have the same pages on overhead sheets. I
go over very slowly the first box WITH the students discussing how to find
the center first, then look at the corners, then the sides and edges, and
lastly, looking at the negative space left over. (These are non-objective
drawings so they don't get caught up in the preconceived image.) They can
only use the fingernail on pencil for measuring and use only the sides of
the paper curled over for making straight lines. This is an excellent
source for learning "how to see". We talk about "seeing" all the time but
kids need to be shown "how to do it". This process slows them down to
actually looking at the parts. Those few who tend to speed up the process
in the beginning, have difficulty getting things to "match up" in their
drawing so it's a grand way to show them why this method is so successful.
It's also a super "leveler"...puts all the kids on basically the same
playing field....those who can draw already and those who have had trouble
drawing in the past.
I know you might be thinking this is a really "tight" method to teaching
drawing...but I've got to tell you, it works every time. They learn to see
where things are, where things are going, and how they connect...both to
the sides and to each other.
I've used the above exercise for 7 yrs. and I can find nothing else as
truly successful as this method to teach older kids. I can't speak for the
younger ones but for middle school to adult, I would recommend it by my
experience. It reaches ALL of my students..even the ones who lack skill and
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd.
Danville, California 94526