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Back to fundamentals- SKETCHING...and my sketching game


From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Oct 06 2001 - 05:37:26 PDT

Some here are aware of a past online instructional I have on sketching, but
since I go over this so often with my own students and even other artists
online, I want to encourage all once again to be aware of this resource
online. Check it out, assign your students to read it....

I have a little game that my students have a great deal of fun with, called
the "Sketching Game"

We pick two teams and take tables opposite each other in the room. A
representative from each group goes outside in the hall, and I pick an
object somewhere in the room. I keep a stack of typing or copy paper on the
tables, and everyone has a Bic black ink ballpoint pen. After I point at
the object, I give them 6, 7 or 8 seconds to "sketch" the object. That is
often about how long you'd have trying to draw a chickadee landing on a bird
feeder...certainly no pose longer than that if one stayed.

I look at my watch, count off the final few seconds and announce "Pen's
down!" at which time they flip their sketches over face down.

The two contestants come back into the room and go to their respective
groups. I have them turn their backs on their team, then have the team turn
their sketches over. Their hands must rest on their laps so no temptation
to point comes up. No speaking is allowed, since paintings in museums do
not have their long deceased painters standing next to the work to explain
it. Also, so no cheating takes place.

The contestants are instructed to turn around, and they have to quickly
figure out what the sketches are from THEIR team's efforts. They look
around the room, point out the object first, and win a point. After which
the next contestant from each team goes out.

The supportive point made by this game is that a gesture line can be done
well enough even in haste to transfer information, and goes a good distance
to support the legitimacy of describing sketching as taking dictation from
life. -Larry