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Old 11-03-2005, 08:01 PM   #1
adam-crockett
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help- Teaching Drawing to 9 Year Olds

My wife's sister has two 9yr old girls that she's home schooling. I've agreed to come and teach them art, starting with drawing foundations. (I've taught drawing to college students, which was a blast. ) However, after 3 classes, I feel that my cirriculum may be a bit over these 9 year olds' heads. Im starting with 1,2,3 point perspective lessons, spending an entire hour long class on each one. Right now I'm having a hard time getting them to rememeber the difference between horizontal, vertical, and diagonal... vocabulary which is integral to comprehending drawing in perspective. It seems that these lessons are too advanced for them right now. The problem is, I'm not sure how to get more basic than that!

I have a 19month old myself, but Im not really very familiar with the maturity and comprehension levels of a 9 year old. My goal with these lessons is to elevate their drawing skills from flat childish symbols to thinking of the picture plane 'in 3d'. That is, things having perspective, overlapping, etc. Does anyone have suggestions for drawing cirriculum excersises appropriate for a 9 year old, that persues my objective? Any good books? I've mainly teach principles found in 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain', but again, too advanced for them.

Thanks
Adam
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Last edited by adam-crockett : 11-03-2005 at 08:56 PM.
 
Old 11-03-2005, 08:39 PM   #2
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I have an 8 year old and I'm pretty sure you're talking WAY over their heads.

Look at Amazon.com for some "how to draw" books that teach using geometric shapes to build up drawings. I got one for my 8 year old and she's really enjoyed it.

I really just try to get her to focus on breaking down everyday objects into simple geometric shapes and I don't worry about perspective, shading or anything like that at this point.

I also encourage her to just get creative and draw whatever she likes and then we talk a little about what she could do to improve the drawing. More than anything I try to keep it fun.

I'd also recommend trying to find out what they like - my daughter loves Star Wars and in particular Darth Vader. So I bought her a book called something like "The Art of Star Wars" which is a collection of drawings, comics, etc. She finds it really encouraging and tries to come up with her own Star Wars scenes.


HTH

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Old 11-03-2005, 09:33 PM   #3
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I've volunteered art instruction at my kid's Grammar school (2nd, 3rd and 4th grade). I started my classes with basic geometric shapes and how to build character designs using them. Generally, sticking to constructing a figure using spheres, cubes or triangles.

Young kids will identify with things that they know already. So show them how to construct Mickey Mouse or Sponge Bob Squarepants and they will understand the concepts more easily.

Once you have them understanding that you can go on to drawing other animals, people or objects that closely resemble basic geometric shapes. Don't emphasise proportions or perspective until later. These are skills that are more difficult for them to understand and achieve.

The important part is getting them to use their imaginations to develop their own ideas. That will keep them interested in the classes and hopefully get them into drawing things on their own at home (out of the school environment).

I also enforce the notion that drawing takes lots of practice. Some kids may be intimidated by seeing your skills demonstrated and not understand that you did not just wake up one morning and discover you were talented. By keeping your drawings simple and closer to their level of skill you will keep them from becoming instantly frustrated with their own ability.

Keep the class material light and fun. You will inspire some of them to keep at it even long after you are done with the classes. I have a few kids that I taught 1 or 2 hours of instruction to who still remember my teachings and practice the material several years later.

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Old 11-04-2005, 06:48 PM   #4
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Good ideas guys, thanks. I'll work on getting them to break subject matter that they are interested in into simple geometric shapes. I know they already have a book along those lines, so maybe we'll just go from that.

For what age do you think that perspective lessons are appropriate?

Any other ideas? I need more fun exercizes!
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Old 11-04-2005, 07:16 PM   #5
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I'm a nutty person, so you don't have to take me seriously as much. But... if you can find something in them to help in exploring character and depiction of it, you're on the winning path. As long as you don't push them into a corner. Stuff like singing and acting/role playing. Gets to all children, it's an instinct. Maybe try getting them to recognise expressions and value of some things is a good idea.

In short, act some simple plays with them. Maybe with a mirror around and let them do the hard work of explaining themselves( if you get my drift).
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Old 11-04-2005, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmBoekestein
I'm a nutty person, so you don't have to take me seriously as much. But... if you can find something in them to help in exploring character and depiction of it, you're on the winning path. As long as you don't push them into a corner. Stuff like singing and acting/role playing. Gets to all children, it's an instinct. Maybe try getting them to recognise expressions and value of some things is a good idea.

In short, act some simple plays with them. Maybe with a mirror around and let them do the hard work of explaining themselves( if you get my drift).


So let me understand this, get them to act out something that they might want to draw?

They were talking about making a movie using a dungeon-like basement in my house. Maybe I can get them to draw characters and storys for that?
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Old 11-04-2005, 09:41 PM   #7
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Yeah get them to do that!
I'm certainly not saying "don't teach them proper form," because form is necessary for "proper" drawings. I'm saying teach them the "what" before the "how." Most kids love to draw and have amazing imaginations. Teach them to put their imagination on paper well.

Make the shoe fit the foot, not the foot fit the shoe. Does that make sense?
 
Old 11-04-2005, 10:06 PM   #8
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Well, these two already have no problem putting their fertile imaginations down on paper, I don't really need to teach them that. My thought was to teach them drawing foundations so they could draw anything. Draw from observation, anyway.

Do you think that drawing from observation is to advanced? Surely not. I might do that, or comics. Or maybe just combine a writing and drawing project. Maybe I could ask them what they want to learn to draw, and them help them with that particular goal.
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Old 11-05-2005, 01:41 PM   #9
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Well, what I mean is this. I was guessing to use their own imaginations to give them passion for what they're drawing. So if they act out something, they can identify with it more. ANd with role playing with eachother. This would give them a lot more energy to get there finally. Also they would learn expressions for character work, I think they'd like that too since they're talking scary movies and what not. Later on you can give them more and more things to play with, they will learn while they're having fun. This works best in my experience.
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:50 AM   #10
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I'll give it a try, I know that they'd love it!
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Old 11-08-2005, 04:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam crockett
Im starting with 1,2,3 point perspective lessons, spending an entire hour long class on each one.


Thats what im doing at university at the moment, and it sure takes some working out even for a 19year old
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Old 11-08-2005, 05:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiQuiD12
Thats what im doing at university at the moment, and it sure takes some working out even for a 19year old


Well I thought, "ruler, straight lines, boxes." I figured they could handle it.
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:35 PM   #13
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teach them art for art sakes. dont get too technical at this point in time.

Art and drawing is to be enjoyed. If they dont enjoy what they are doing then its a waste of time and heartache you both.

All the best for you.

btw, try and keep all the work they do and later on, show them how theyve progressed.

Im keeping all my nephews paintings and scribbles.
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Old 11-09-2005, 06:14 AM   #14
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In Psych we studied development of how kids draw the world around them, and if I remember right they can't truly conceptualize perspective until they get into middle school. Earlier than that they are able to draw copies of the shapes that you draw in perspective, but developmentally, they can't understand it - and therefore use it - until they're a bit older.

But drawing from life is something they can do. And the shapes that make up a character. The kid at my high school who was best at drawing had been drawing from observation since he was like 6. All that observation really helped him.
 
Old 11-09-2005, 01:07 PM   #15
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I also think it is important to tell them what they are doing right, more than what they are doing wrong. Children (and most adults too ) are very sensitive about their creations. If they have been slaving all afternoon over their drawing, and you can almost see the sweat on their foreheads when they are done, be enthousiastic! Tell them how much they have improved and how nice the colors are ect., even if their "masterpiece" looks like something that the cat threw up.
Also, don't give them a compliment first and then tell them that this-and-this is wrong. Avoid the "good-thing, BUT bad-thing" formula. It will make the good thing look less important, and they might think you only said it to "soften the blow". Instead, ask them how THEY feel about the drawing, and if they think something might be wrong with it (and don't push it if they say "no", being honest is important, but sometimes a kid just has to be happy with their drawing even if its bad). They will probably say something like "something is off, but I can't put my finger on it" (or maybe just: "this thingy looks weird!"), and THEN you can explain to them what they CAN try (not: what they MUST do) to make it even better. Do not leave "even" out, this is how you tell them that you think it's already very good, and it will boost their self confidence. When they improved the drawing, be enthousiastic ("see you can do it? this is much better, well done!") and give the picture a good place on the wall/door/refridgirator, so they know it's something they can be proud of, and everyones has to see.


P.S. Sorry about the bad grammar, English is not my first language
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Last edited by Sanne-chan : 11-09-2005 at 01:13 PM.
 
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