Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Drawing People Summer Art Class - Day 3

Day 3 - The Facial Features

This is the process we've gone through so far:
1. As soon as students entered the class on Day 1 they drew a person. This drawing was set aside to be brought back out at the end of the course for comparison.
2. Basic introduction to drawing in general and to drawing people particularly.
3. We worked on placement -  where does everything go?
4. Okay, now we know where the eyes, nose and mouth go...let's draw some eyes, noses and mouths.

That is what we did today. Tomorrow we'll work on light and shadow and some final details and then on our last day, we'll put it all together. I think this is a great way to approach any drawing--break it down into accomplishable tasks, practice the parts, and then put it all together. (Good life advice too, right?)

Today we went back in our sketchbooks to the Eyes, Noses, and Mouths pages we made on the first day. I had some bowls set out on the table with features clipped from magazines. These were available to be used as a reference and also to be taped into sketchbooks if the students chose to do so.

Let's talk about drawing faces for a second:
A big part of drawing faces (or anything, really) is deciding what to draw and what to leave out. We talked about how people do have lines under their eyes and sometimes dark circles--but unless you're TRYING to make your subject look old and tired, leave out those unflattering features. Also, many things on the face are done with just a suggestion of a line or shadow--the bottom eyelid or side of the nose, for instance. They don't need a dark outline. In fact many times a dark outline can make your drawing look amateurish. It's also impossible to draw every strand of hair. Many times you just give the idea of the hair and add in some light and shadow and a few individual strands here and there.

Georgia O' Keefe once said, "Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis that we get at the real meaning of things."

We talked a lot about selection, elimination and emphasis today. The artist's job isn't just to draw it's to make decisions about what to add in and what to leave out.

We took each feature and drew them individually and even broke each of them down into smaller steps. This is a great way for, not just kids, but anyone to learn to draw. We found this handout to be VERY helpful:

We also went back to Nicole and talked specifically about her individual features.
She'll make one more appearance tomorrow to help us with light and shadow and then Ms. Kidman will be finished with our art class. Or should I say we'll be finished with her. 

And then we practiced, practiced, practiced.
 This young artist is AMAZING. Basically she could be teaching this class. The girl's got skillz!!
 I don't normally show the students their drawings from the first day again until the last day of class. But for this artist I just had to show it to her quickly so she could see just how much she's improved in just 3 days!
 This artist (who belongs to me) :) always complains about drawing eyes, but today she got a couple eyes drawn on her Eye page that she was really proud of. Ah, success!
 Wish I would have taken a picture of the finished drawing of this one. It was wonderful and so creative. Last minute she decided to add a little flair with a hat--this is my future fashion illustrator. She always adds something whimsical and creative to her drawings.
 I love that this artist not only added a reference picture to her sketchbook, but also wrote some notes around it. She is also always bold and brave enough to try her drawings in pen as well as pencil.
This artist much prefers anime, but he stepped out of his comfort zone today and ended up with some wonderful drawings...and then went back and drew some anime. :)

Optional Take Home Assignments:
1. Keep practicing eyes, noses, and mouths. And then put them together on your egg shape head we worked on yesterday. 
2. Keep gathering pictures for your Art File - specifically people and facial features

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