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Friday, May 3, 2013

Drawing From Life

Drawing What We See

A struggle for most people and especially young people is drawing what we actually see instead of what we think something should look like.  This is a challenge I decided to tackle with my 6th graders!

We've started with some delicious practice...and I do mean delicious; we're drawing Tootsie Rolls to start with.  On the white board I drew a rectangle with a triangle on each end and asked them to guess what it was.  Although they guessed that it was candy, I pointed out that no candy actually looks like an oval and triangles.  There is a surprising amount of detail to each piece and variations amongst wrappers.

We spent some time talking about the stages of drawing (sketching, shading/adding value and finishing touches) and discussed the difference between drawing what we actually see and breaking subjects down into smaller lines and shapes instead of trying to force them into what we want them to be or look like. 

The students worked really hard on rendering their Tootsie Rolls to the best of their abilities and came out with some really nice sketches!
Then we started to discuss shading and value a little bit more.  We talked about where shadows and reflections of light typically fall and about how to recreate those with our pencils and erasers.  The students put their best foot forward and charged on with their drawings and added value

We talked about how all drawings need finishing touches and blending to get rid of our pencil lines.  I really emphasized that you do not want to just smudge across your whole drawing or you will loose all of the different values and create one shade of gray.  So I put the kids to work with their choice of Kleenex or their finger for blending and encouraged them to use their erasers too.  All in all, I think this was a great success for them!  Most of them were impressed with their work and couldn't believe what they were capable of...something I'm always trying to get them to realize!