>I found your observation fasinating when you said the young kids
>remembered" the proportions of the face...but how did they do drawing it?
>I teach middle school (6,7,8th) and I use this method of teaching facial
>proportion and the students "remember" it.....until it's time to draw it
>again on their own in another situation. Each student measures himself with
>a pencil and we "prove" to ourselves how these proportions relate to the
>whole face. We draw faces..front views and side views. We draw faces 2-3
>days 'til we've BLUE IN THE FACE (hee,hee). Then we move on to mask-making
>and later, when we go back to some facial work,they almost ALL resort back
>o eyes in the forehead. I wonder if it is because they have been drawing
>the wrong way for a longer period of time then the 1st, 2nd graders and
>it's "worked" up until now. It's an interesting concept to ponder! At this
>age kids want to learn how to draw realistically and feel sometimes like a
>failure when it "isn't right"...that's why I like the Monart thing of
>breaking a whole down into parts so they can "see" how it's put together.
>But I've got to tell ya as plain as I'm sittin' here, they STILL go back to
>the sun in the corner and the double-hooped birds in the sky...and eyes in
>the browline and the giant mouth in the middle and the wee little nose and
>the ears too small and the neck much too thin to support the head which is
>sittin' on tiny, tiny little shoulders. Back to what they've done over and
>over! It's a real hard pattern to break!! Anyway,that's been my experience!
>They see it, they get it, but they just don't DO it!
and to 'Leni who said:
>I agree, most children I've been with (and adults) want to learn to draw
>Monart is a method that is easy to understand and gives results. In my
>original post I wondered whether this method works better with older
>students... as developmentally they can extrapolate the instruction to
>drawings they do on their own, without the teacher guiding them. Do you
>this to be the case?
I have found that if you get 'em young enough, before they form too many bad
habit patterns, it seems to "take" better. Also if they learn to look for
curves, lines and angles at the same age when they are using the same
elements to learn to write, the drawing seems to come naturally.
Regarding the proportions of the face, after we have verified with
measuring etc., I follow-up later lessons with what I call warm up
exercises. I draw a face on transparent tracing paper with a black felt tip
pen. Then I make photocopies with part of the face missing (covering it
during the photocopying) : once its the eyes, once the bottom of the face,
once the ears, etc. A real fun one is doing a profile with the ear missing.
(Almost everyone tends to put the ear too far forward in a profile) At
the beginning of the class we take a few minutes to do this warm up and they
have to complete the drawing trying to put the missing part in the right
place in the right proportion. When they have finished they can come up
and place the transparent copy over their own effort and actually see how
far off they were in placing the ears, or eyes, etc. Its very effective,
because the results are visual...It only takes a few minutes at the
beginning of the class and the kids love it. When I don't have a warm-up
prepared they are disappointed. Another thing I do is insist on light
guidelines to place the eyes, nose, mouth etc in the proper place each and
every time they are drawing a face. It must get to be a habit....part of
the process....that way we don't get eyes in the forehead anymore.
Another fun exercise is taking a blown up balloon (egg shape like a head)
and with a felt tip pen draw the vertical line for the center of the face,
and the horizontal lines for the placement of the eyes, nose and mouth.
Then tip the "head" up and see what happens to the placement lines....where
do they go....draw the "head" tipped up with the guidelines as you see
them...then do the same thing tipping the "head" (balloon)
down.....observe...draw...etc....tilt the head to one side...etc.... Its
easier for the smaller children to actually "see" what happens with
something simplified like a balloon. If they look at a real head it is much
more difficult. Try it!