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Re:[teacherartexchange] Teaching to Observe


From: Gwen Copeland (dain_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Sep 11 2008 - 04:34:48 PDT

I usually start drawing classes with a memory/seen drawing of something
fairly simple & well known - like pretzels or popcorn. I ask them to fold a
sheet of paper in half & draw one from memory after briefly talking about
the object. (They label this "Memory Drawing") Then I pass out the actual
thing - along with extras to eat while they're working. I tell them they're
not "drawing" but rather recording visual information that they see, like a
scientist who's discovered a new life form. Almost like a hypnotists, I
quietly talk to them as they work telling them to notice how parts overlap,
how it's constructed, what they see to know what it feels like. The more
they see, the more they can record. Afterwards I ask them to compare the 2
drawings; which is "best" & why? I explain that both can be good - have some
natural "Haring's" out there - but usually the seen drawing is voted "the
best" because it looks more life-like.
This is an old exercise from somewhere - but it seems to work -- & it's
great to refer back to .
Gwen Copeland
 Does anyone have a good example to teach kids to draw what they ACTUALLY
> see, not just what they think they know it looks like? My class was doing
> an
> observation painting of their open lockers. I got very frustrated with
> kids
> who after a couple of days, didn't even have their locker open or wouldn't
> rearrange their books the same way as they drew it on the first day. Their
> answer was always "I know what it looks like." My question is "How do you
> do
> an observation drawing if you aren't observing anything?" I understand
> that
> some artwork is from memory or imagination, but we are doing observation
> paintings.
> I would like a way to show them that you may THINK you know what something
> looks like, but when you actually take time to observe you may notice
> things
> are quite different. Sorry for the rant. That class just left and I was a
> bit frustrated with them.
> Chantal
> ---
> ---

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