I must admit that when I first read the book "Drawing with Children" I was
a bit skeptical about doing a guided drawing, but I tried it once with the
"I canDRt draw" group of first graders and it was a real eye opener for them.
I first pointed out how everything in nature is made up of only lines,
curves and angles....and everyone can draw lines, curves, and angles. Its
just a matter of breaking down any object into these elements and it all
becomes accessible. I asked them what was the most difficult animal they
could think of to draw....last year they came up with a Stegosaurus! I
said, OK now we are all going to draw a stegosaurus...I got out my handy
image file and together we did a guided drawing and they were all amazed
that by putting together curves, lines and angles they were all able to do a
stegosaurus. (By the way no two were exactly alike!) All that was needed
was to do this once, maximum twice and they got the hang of looking for the
curves, lines and angles, on their own, in order to draw anything they
wanted to. I certainly didnDRt find that it stifled their creativity.
What it does is enlarge their iconic vocabulary so that they have more to
I guess you could compare it to learning to write. After all, learning
to write is learning to put together curves, lines and angles, and that too
at the beginning takes some guidance and practice, but it doesnDRt mean that
the students cannot then go on to write poetry with those letters, just
because they were guided to learn to write the alphabet. And every
individual has his own personal handwriting style in the end.
Learning to draw is a basic. I have found the kids want to know how to
draw and I certainly have not found that it stifles creativity. The more
words you know, the more you can say and the more meaning you can give to
it....its the same with drawing skills.
As far as the proportions of the face are concerned, they do remember
it...(I bring in a measuring tapes and they measure the proportions on each
others face....its usually bedlam, with a few eyes nearly poked out, but
they never forget it!) In fact, one mother told me, she took her 7 year old
to a museum in Rome, and Valentina went up to a portrait by a famous artist,
measured the proportions on the face and said "Mom, he got it right!" I