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Re:[teacherartexchange] teacherartexchange digest: October 23, 2008

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From: Lois Girbino (lgirbino_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Oct 24 2008 - 16:21:08 PDT


For Arpi & Betty B.-
I try to mix up "project" things that elementary students love, with
the nuts & bolts drawing stuff, like blind contour drawings. Starting
in third grade, I go through a whole speech about success in drawing
is about "learning how to see" & that to do that, "the eye needs to
talk to your hand without getting your brain involved". We talk about
when drawing something like a butterfly, the kids usually draw the
same old butterfly over & over again (you know, the one that looks
like the letter "B" bilaterally symmetrical), but that REAL
butterflies have hundreds of different shapes and wing patterns. Same
with fish (not all fish look like goldfish). Same with clouds (clouds
do not look like popcorn floating), etc... The "eye/hand" speech comes
straight from art college and was an epiphany for me, and then I had
to unlearn a lot of really bad drawing habits--something I also share
with the students. We also talk about how many careers require good
observation skills (e.g. scientists, doctors, architects,
archaeologists). Even my third graders are pretty receptive to contour
drawing exercises after the groundwork is laid.

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