CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Monday, September 18, 2017

How to Draw a Face

By 7th grade, art students usually start to show me that they are really struggling to make their people "look real." That is my signal to teach about "correct" proportions. I put correct in quotes, because as I teach about where things are placed anatomically, I stress that my lesson is not intended to tell students "how to make a face." There are as many ways to do that as there are artists. The same goes with the "correct proportions" of a human figure. 

For some, this information is useful, for others, less so. And that got me thinking - It might be interesting for students, and help drive home my point, if they saw a variety of approaches used by artists to depict a human face or figure. Here is what greeted students the next day:

This sorting game is one I learned from Professor John Crowe, at the Summer Teaching for Artistic Behavior Institute in Boston. We later agreed to change the categories to "Realistic," "Less Realistic," and "Not Realistic," to avoid confusion (and thwart the clever ringleader who put all in images in the "real" pile, because, you know, they are all '"real" art...."

The following day, I swapped out the word "Realistic" for Realism, "Less Real" became Impressionism or Expressionism, and "Not Real" became Abstract. (Using abstract in this context helped to convey the information that "abstract" is artwork based on a subject, as opposed to "non-objective, or "non-subjective" artwork, which is not. 
(I also pulled out a lot of drawing books for students to use for more information, or for those interested in going deeper or practicing.)
At work at the easel is "N," Grade 7
I am curious to see how, when, where, or if, students use the information shared over the last few days in their own work going forward. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

How could we resist?

There is something irresistable about a sunny day in Vermont  - We just had to get outside!
5th-graders drawing at the pond
The two artists above have selected a set of drawing pencils and are comparing the numbers and letters on the pencils with resulting marks. "B for bold," one told me - "H" for hard. 

On nice days like this, it is a wonderful treat to open the studio door and expand into the great outdoors. Students take drawing boards and their preferred drawing tools to draw from observation, imagination, memory, or simply explore mark making with different tools.
The rules are:
1.  Stay where I can see you and you can see me
2. When I check, I will find you working
Two rules are enough.