Friday, January 6, 2012

First Friday Art Class for January 2012 - Animals from Basic Shapes

For this class I wanted to really talk about some of the fundamentals of drawing. So we started with a quiz taken mainly from Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes.

True/False - There is a right way and a wrong way to draw?
True/False - Drawing is just for fun and won't help you in the future?
True/False - People who can draw only abstractly aren't real artists?
True/False - Real artists draw only from their imagination and don't need to copy things?
True/False - Real artists are pleased with most of what they produce?

The answer to all of these is false. So we talked about it. We talked about silencing that "inner critic" in our head and knowing that if a drawing is the way we want it, it's perfect. If not, we can change it or start over. No big deal.

We talked about how drawing can lead to a career as an architect or an engineer or an artist! :) Drawing also helps you express emotions and creativity and helps you with problem solving.

We also talked about the benefit of copying things--pictures, drawings, whatever. Because you'll interpret them your own way and always learn something. Using a reference photo is not "cheating". There are VERY FEW artists that can draw a distinct likeness of a particular person without either a photograph of that person or having them sit as a model. Even when I'm doing a painting of an abstract cat, I still like to have a reference picture of a real cat.

And most importantly, be patient with yourself, have fun while you learn and enjoy the process.

So to help us loosen up, I had the girls draw a cat with their non-dominant hand. Drawing with your non-dominant hand forces you to let go of expectations and loosen up.

We then talked about the Five Basic Elements of Shape
We talked about how everything we want to draw can be broken down into these 5 basic elements. It's so much less daunting to face a drawing when you first break it down into the very most basic of shapes. 

We practiced this by drawing animals. We started with animals based on an oval, then moved to animals based on circles (specifically two circles on top of each other like a snowman), and then animals that begin with a teardrop shape.
We then moved onto some other animals that all included our 5 basic elements. We also drew a dog from an actual photograph. First we drew him more simply and stylized, then more realistically. Because all of this fun cartooning and basic shape exploration can lead to drawing more realistically, if that's where you want to go. It's all about practice and learning and becoming comfortable with these basic shapes.

The last thing we drew just for fun was a cat using our method of drawing people that we learned in our October class.
Here's a peek into the girls' sketchbooks...

And here they are (...minus one who left before the pictures. Sorry Ms. M).

I'm hoping that they spend the next month drawing cats and dogs and birds and horses and elephants all over the place!

We covered a lot of material really fast and the girls did GREAT. They are such a fun group!!

See you next month!

ETA: And look at the fun sight that greeted me at church. Two of the girls drawing together and teaching each other!! Yay!!


JR and Brynn said...

Love this!! What an easy and brilliant way to teach the kids how to start drawing animals. I just printed this and am going to do it with my kids today! Thanks for the great lesson!!

Anonymous said...

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