April 17, 2010

Teaching Drawing Skills YOU CAN DO IT

In the past I was afraid of drawing assignments because I was afraid of all the resistance. Often (whether I admit it or not) I am looking for projects that are eye catching. Teaching kids to draw is like teaching them to sound out words. It's not glamorous but it completely necessary. Especially, drawing from life.

How do I teach students to draw?

Tip #1 Always have lots of visuals. Many of us don't have minds that can imagine, images, angles, lighting so why do we expect our students to? As an artist I am always looking on google images, books, and real life. So why not give your students the same options?

Tip #2  Never give a project with expected results. For example, instead of asking students to draw a parrot ask them to draw a bird. Then show them many pictures of different birds. This takes off the pressure of creating the perfect parrot since every student will end up with a different result.

Tip #3 Show different drawing techniques. Start with blind contour drawing (drawing without looking at the paper or lifting the pencil.) Demonstrate how to make a contour drawing (drawing the outside edges.) Show students how to use simple shapes to build the drawing (as you would see in kids drawing books.)

Tip #4 Be patient! It took about two months for my fifth grade classes to become comfortable with the drawing process and to draw without kicking and screaming. Depending on where you teach, it could be from one week to two months. You know kids can smell when you are about to give up and they will beat you to it. So stick with it!

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