Most of my third through seventh graders are convinced that they can’t draw. I know that they have reached that point wherein they are no longer satisfied by the comparison between the reality they now see more clearly and their own rendition of it on paper. Yet, *I* know they CAN draw; it’s a matter of training perception and perspective. One of my goals this year has been to grow their confidence in their own drawing abilities; that THEY would see an improvement in their skills, and not just me.
Thus far, we continue to emphasize line and shape, because I consider them SO fundamental. I have little worksheets where they attempt to copy exactly some abstract lines I have created in a box into an empty box below, and they have been introduced to contour drawing, blind contour, and upside-down drawing. Most of them are able to follow these exercises pretty well! So we let Paul Cezanne introduce us to still lifes last week, and attempted some of our own in colored pencil. My conclusion? We need more bite-sized pieces still!
They are seeing line and perspective BETTER, but they are still frustrated with their results, and too soon! Drawing requires some degree of patience, and of faith that as you continue to draw what you really see, it WILL turn out. I have concluded that most of them don’t have the experience to trust the process (after all, this IS our first full year of formal art instruction at Faith), and become discouraged before the fruit of their labor is really evident.
SO, I am backing up and breaking it down more. I’m new at this, or no doubt this would have been obvious before I ever started! LOL! Fifth through seventh grades will make simple picture planes this week, and if the sun is shining, we will still do our shadow and shading exercises with sidewalk chalk and some worksheets. But if I can get us through that with time to spare, I want to walk through a sketch with our picture planes (a pumpkin would probably work great!), adding the shading they just learned. Third-fourth will just do the shadow/shade stuff, since they start the Mondrian-style prints this week also. I don’t plan to introduce them to picture planes.
I am praying for wisdom to best equip these wonderful, creative students with the skills and information they need to express their own unique artistic visions. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain was so helpful to me in teaching my own teens, and I know these same principals can be made accessible to my younger students. I look forward to Tuesday!