Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Drawing People Summer Art Class - Day 2

I realized yesterday that I didn't give much explanation of our class and why we are doing it. So here it is--I love kids and I love art. It makes me sad how little art instruction kids are getting in school right now and I truly feel like I, personally, have to do something about it. So I open my house to kids and we make art together and we talk about art together and I LOVE IT!! and I hope they do too. And then I put explanations and class re-caps on my blog for my students, their parents and anyone else who may end up here.


Day 2 – Proportions
We began today with Blind Continuous Contour Drawings. This is done with one continuous line, and no peeking! Look at the person across from you. Draw them without picking up your pen/pencil and don't look at your paper. We did several in our sketchbooks.

Why Blind Continuous Contour Drawings?? Here's a great explanation from Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes: One of the best ways to get over the fear of drawing people is to draw without looking at the paper. It removes the artist from the responsibility of result, and allows him to study the subject more closely. Yes! I love this idea. I also really like to start each class with a sort of warm up/loosen up type exercise.

I did a few samples last night to show the kids. I honestly find these drawing so fun and relaxing. You never know what you might get!! (Try some!)
Here are some the students' drawings:

We found it very interesting that everyone's drawings had their own distinct style.

Drawing the Face
Drawing people is best done from observation, but there are a few guidelines that help you get started. These simple guidelines will help improve your drawings immensely!

There are 4 basic face shapes – round, heart shaped, oval, square. Today we used an egg shape as our inspiration. For this we used actual eggs. I had the kids draw the horizontal and vertical midline. Having an actual egg to hold in their hands seemed to help them get the concept of the shape better.

We used some visuals to talk about common mistakes made in drawing people. Noticing these downfalls and avoiding them in your drawings can take your drawings from immature and childlike to more mature and realistic looking.

I drew a face on a clear page protector. I drew many of the common mistakes people make.
Eyes too high – remember to leave room for the brain
No room for the hair – they look bald
No eyebrows or “rainbow” eyebrows
Outline of the nose is too dark
“Pig” nostrils
“Banana” lips
Eyeballs too big
Ears too small
Stringy hair or, alternately, helmet hair

I had all the labels covered with Post-It notes and the students named all of them. But for them to really SEE what was wrong with the drawing, I slipped in a photograph of a face. This seemed to really drive the concept home. "Oh yeah, I can see how the eyes are way too high and the hair is weird..." etc.

Using the same picture (a copy of it, actually) we then talked about all the measurements that will help us draw more realistic faces.
Here are the basics:
When starting a drawing of the face, divide the "egg" in half vertically and horizontally. The horizontal line will be your eye line (#1 below). Now divide the top half in half. That midway point will be your hairline (#4 below). Divide the bottom half in half. That notch mark will be the bottom of the nose (#2 below). Now divide from nose to chin in half and that notch mark will be the mouth (#3 below). By simply doing these quick measurements, you'll get much better proportions and placement on your face. Do all these lines and notch marks very lightly as they will most likely be erased eventually.
I love that by just making those few quick lines and tick marks, you already have the idea of a face. And voila, now you know where things need to go. Tomorrow we'll be working on the actual features.

And then we practiced. We did a little with the full body too. Basically I tried to convince them that yes, really, people are about 7-1/2 heads tall. I don't think they were convinced. They'll need to do some observation on their own.

Optional At Home Fun Playfulness (not homeWORK!):
1. Do more Blind Continuous Contour drawings
2. Collect pictures for you Art File
3. Take a magazine picture of a face (someone looking right at the camera--like our Nicole Kidman example), cut it in half vertically and draw the other half. This is a great exercise for practicing placement and proportion!


Patricia said...

This is a great tutorial. I really love your idea of cutting a photo in half and drawing the other half for playful-practice too!

chris fondi said...

the eye line is NOT in the middle of the face!!!!!!!!. divide the face in thirds along the center line....divide the second third in thirds....the eye line is is on the first of that third. the tip of the nose is on the third third in that third......check your facts before you teach such errors.

Allison Rossiter said...

This is wonderful stuff! Thank you so much for your generous and talented spirit!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a great visual it really helps!

Venus Genetrix said...

Well that was unnecessarily harsh... It's art for KIDS for heaven's sake. For FUN.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a wonderful lesson with fantastic visuals for any person interested in drawing the face. I tried the Fondi way and I created a giant nose. Maybe he should take his own "advice":


He offends me. A teacher should never treat others with such complete disrespect. I am so sorry you had come across such a negative comment. What a jerk.

Anonymous said...

Please refer to works such as those of Prof. Gottfried Bammes who was a professor of art at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, Germany. His anatomic drawing textbooks have become standard reference works; several have been translated into English.
Eyes ARE in the middle of the head!
(chris fondi, for all his good work in art, is obviously not aware of such basics)

PS great tutorials, I always look for new ideas to teach kids arts and crafts.


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