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Old 11-09-2005, 02:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam crockett
Do you think that drawing from observation is to advanced?


Probably, yes. At nine they are not all that concerned with how things really look and the exercise might be plain boring for them. Children that age percieve the world differently than teens and adults and have a different visual language, drawing more symbolically than realistically. You mentioned "(the new) drawing on the right hand side of the brain". There's a chapter in there about visual development in children. (chapter 5).
The upside down drawing might be a good idea though ('cause it's fun), provided it is something *they* are interested in (which definitly wouldn't be Picasso's portrait of Stravinsky).

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


The need for realism starts a little later, usually between 10 and 12 and then they go really overboard with it. That would be a good time to teach perspective, because that's what baffles them most. There's a catch though, studying perspective is boring for them. (Heck, it is boring for me)

Concepts like horizon/eyeline, verticals and vanishing points are difficult if not impossible for them to grasp. Not because they lack intelligence. Spatial insight is not fully developed yet, so they just don't understand what you're talking about. If at all, take it *very* slow, with exercises related to the real world. Putting that on paper is a level of abstraction they have not mastered yet and will only frustrate them. For instance, take them outside and *show* them the horizon. Then let them sit on the ground/climb on something to see the horizon moves with them (ain't that kewl?).
One exercise they might grasp. I know I did when I was that age. Draw something that trains both one-point perspective AND is very colorful. The example I learned was a Dutch flowerbulb field, but that might not appeal to them because they've never seen one before.

Quote:
Any other ideas? I need more fun exercizes!


-Illustrating a favorite story/song/book etc. in their own way, with emphasis on the imaginative/creative side of it rather than realism.


For the rest, I agree with everything that has been said above. Creative expression is far more important than technically correct drawing. Keep basic drawing principles as simple as possible, stylizing and breaking up in simple shapes rather than aim for realism.
 
Old 11-09-2005, 06:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squirpy
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.


WOW! Thats good info, exactly what I was looking for. Thanks squirpy. I think I have a class with them tonight so Im definitly going to go for drawing from observation. I say "I think" because we were doing it every other week, but I want to do it every week. Like one of the girls said, "I wish you could come every week, because by the time we have the next class, I've forgotten it all!"

I emailed and had them gather images of things they want to draw. Unah likes wolves, so Im sure we'll be drawing those, I'm not sure what Madi will want to draw.

When you say "from observation" do you make a distinction between copying a printed image, and drawing something in front of them, like a still life? Is one more beneficial than the other? I was going to start with copying printed images, then move on to still lifes.
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanne-chan
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


Im not too hard on them. I'm told Im a good teacher, I just picked some subject matter that was over their heads. I did want to gear the class towards constructive exercises though, like you might get in writing. You cant write creatively until you can make the letters, and I wanted to teach them the "techniques" of drawing, to enable their creative expression.

Im abandoning that now, for a while anyway, while I just see what they are capable of, drawing whatever catches their attention. Expressing whatever they want, however they want, and just sort of observing and guiding, and answering questions.

High praise is, of course, always in order. I spend a lot of the class just getting them to settle down and focus though.
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margie
Probably, yes. At nine they are not all that concerned with how things really look and the exercise might be plain boring for them. Children that age percieve the world differently than teens and adults and have a different visual language, drawing more symbolically than realistically. You mentioned "(the new) drawing on the right hand side of the brain". There's a chapter in there about visual development in children. (chapter 5).
The upside down drawing might be a good idea though ('cause it's fun), provided it is something *they* are interested in (which definitly wouldn't be Picasso's portrait of Stravinsky).



The need for realism starts a little later, usually between 10 and 12 and then they go really overboard with it. That would be a good time to teach perspective, because that's what baffles them most. There's a catch though, studying perspective is boring for them. (Heck, it is boring for me)

Concepts like horizon/eyeline, verticals and vanishing points are difficult if not impossible for them to grasp. Not because they lack intelligence. Spatial insight is not fully developed yet, so they just don't understand what you're talking about. If at all, take it *very* slow, with exercises related to the real world. Putting that on paper is a level of abstraction they have not mastered yet and will only frustrate them. For instance, take them outside and *show* them the horizon. Then let them sit on the ground/climb on something to see the horizon moves with them (ain't that kewl?).
One exercise they might grasp. I know I did when I was that age. Draw something that trains both one-point perspective AND is very colorful. The example I learned was a Dutch flowerbulb field, but that might not appeal to them because they've never seen one before.



-Illustrating a favorite story/song/book etc. in their own way, with emphasis on the imaginative/creative side of it rather than realism.


For the rest, I agree with everything that has been said above. Creative expression is far more important than technically correct drawing. Keep basic drawing principles as simple as possible, stylizing and breaking up in simple shapes rather than aim for realism.



Hey, cool! I'll have to go back and check out that chapter. Is that content only in the newer edition? My copy is kinda old.

I like the idea of taking them OUT of their little home classroom and drawing outside. They live right by the beach, so that would be a good place to go and draw. The classes are usually at night though, after work. Now its all cold and rainy here in seattle too. Maybe outside drawing lessons will have to wait until spring.

I agree with the creative expression concept. I can see how maybe I pushed the technical aspect of it too early. Im going to concentrate on creativity now, and see where I can encourage them to be more expressive. Maybe introduce different media, paint, pastels, clay, whatever. That would be more fun than my lessons were any way you look at it!
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:22 AM   #20
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I've been teaching my 8 year old son some things about drawing, and at this stage what seems to benefit him the most is learning to see correctly. The first two things that I'm working with him the most are proportion and angles. First, learning to interpret how long a cartoon character or any other object is, and marking that on the page, then comparing the angles of certain lines and accurately placing those in the drawing.

Once he gets a hold of this, I think the next thing will be alignment of verticals and horizontals (plumb lines).. so looking at 'Spiderman's left eye' then draw an imaginary line all the way down and see what it touches.. it might touch the kneecap, maybe a toe, etc..

That way, things are properly aligned in 2d space..

then later on... (maybe in 1-2 years..) we can start thinking more in terms of 3d shapes.

Ideally he would be able to switch between 2d and 3d mindsets while making a drawing... but that's super advanced at this stage. So for now, all that matters is silhouette and proportion. It seems that the biggest battle right now is keeping him away from drawing details first (hair, fingers, wrinkles, etc..) in order to focus on the structural aspect of the drawing.
 
Old 11-10-2005, 12:35 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel
I've been teaching my 8 year old son some things about drawing, and at this stage what seems to benefit him the most is learning to see correctly. The first two things that I'm working with him the most are proportion and angles. First, learning to interpret how long a cartoon character or any other object is, and marking that on the page, then comparing the angles of certain lines and accurately placing those in the drawing.

Once he gets a hold of this, I think the next thing will be alignment of verticals and horizontals (plumb lines).. so looking at 'Spiderman's left eye' then draw an imaginary line all the way down and see what it touches.. it might touch the kneecap, maybe a toe, etc..

That way, things are properly aligned in 2d space..

then later on... (maybe in 1-2 years..) we can start thinking more in terms of 3d shapes.

Ideally he would be able to switch between 2d and 3d mindsets while making a drawing... but that's super advanced at this stage. So for now, all that matters is silhouette and proportion. It seems that the biggest battle right now is keeping him away from drawing details first (hair, fingers, wrinkles, etc..) in order to focus on the structural aspect of the drawing.


Good stuff, ariel. Thanks.

I agree about finding the horizontals and verticals, and starting broadly, then working on details. If I can just get them to work on the whole image at once, instead of focusing on details, I'd be happy. This is all stuff in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain too. I'll add this thinking into my suggestions to them.
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:37 AM   #22
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I have 3 - 7 year olds in my house. There is a big difference between them an 9 year olds but for what it's worth .... my son loves to draw after watching cartoons. First he starts with characters from the movies but eventually he makes his own variations of robots, dragons, dogs and so on. I find that they also like to illustrate stories so you might encourage them to illustrate their own stories.

I tried to teach them shading and breaking down an object into shapes but it didn't really 'click' fully at the time. I just went back to school about 4 weeks ago to study animation and they saw me doing the animated flour sacks and when I showed them how these turned into animation they spent the next two days drawing 'frames' of simple stuff all on their own. I decided to capitalize on their interest an picked up a simple 'Learn to Draw Dinosaurs' type book that showed how to draw them from basic geomtetric shapes and this time it caught - they spent a week fighting for the book but instead of the flounder/flattened style characters (both eyes on one side etc) they have begun using overlapping shapes and erasing lines and better understanding the concepts.

Hope some of these observations may be helpful.

Hmm.... one more quick thought ... maybe for a 'pre-perspective' training you can create the horizon lines etc and create simple perspective objects like cubes and make copies then invite them to use thier creativity to turn the row of cubes into houses etc -think of it like the first writing paper kids are given that indicates the height and midpoint of capitals and small letters when they are learning to write.
 
Old 11-10-2005, 11:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bupaje
I have 3 - 7 year olds in my house. There is a big difference between them an 9 year olds but for what it's worth .... my son loves to draw after watching cartoons. First he starts with characters from the movies but eventually he makes his own variations of robots, dragons, dogs and so on. I find that they also like to illustrate stories so you might encourage them to illustrate their own stories.

I tried to teach them shading and breaking down an object into shapes but it didn't really 'click' fully at the time. I just went back to school about 4 weeks ago to study animation and they saw me doing the animated flour sacks and when I showed them how these turned into animation they spent the next two days drawing 'frames' of simple stuff all on their own. I decided to capitalize on their interest an picked up a simple 'Learn to Draw Dinosaurs' type book that showed how to draw them from basic geomtetric shapes and this time it caught - they spent a week fighting for the book but instead of the flounder/flattened style characters (both eyes on one side etc) they have begun using overlapping shapes and erasing lines and better understanding the concepts.

Hope some of these observations may be helpful.

Hmm.... one more quick thought ... maybe for a 'pre-perspective' training you can create the horizon lines etc and create simple perspective objects like cubes and make copies then invite them to use thier creativity to turn the row of cubes into houses etc -think of it like the first writing paper kids are given that indicates the height and midpoint of capitals and small letters when they are learning to write.


Yeah, these girls are the same way. They love to draw their cartoon characters. Their fav is Inuyasha. Last night they went to town drawing characters from that manga. They have some stories that they are working on, so illustrating them is an excellent idea.

On the animation tip, a friend told me that he got his kids into animation with post-it note pads and stamps. I thought that was brilliant. Its not drawing, but good animation practice.

The idea of giving them examples to draw on is an interesting one...hmmmm. I'll have to see how I can work that into their lessons.

Im pretty much giving up on perspective for now, I'll pick it up on down the road.
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Last edited by adam-crockett : 11-10-2005 at 11:29 PM.
 
Old 11-10-2005, 11:28 PM   #24
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Even though I'm not teaching them perspective any more, I thought you all might like to see the results of their efforts when they were doing that. Last night I told them they could just draw whatever they wanted, and they had a lot more fun. They picked some Inuyasha Manga they have from the public library, and copied drawings. I dont have scans of those. Sorry

Unah:

In this one she turned her box into a grocery bag. We also practiced a bit of shading.


This is her freeform interpretation of my, "draw a main street" assignment. I used a road receeding into the distance as my first example of how perspective works.


Madison:

She wrote down what vertical and horizontal meant. They were having a hard time keeping them straight. I think its funny how she "cheated" on the far left box. I came to realize they didn't understand what the receeding lines had to do with anything!


Another road. Madi liked using the top edge of her paper as the horizon. I saw nothing wrong with that.


Its interesting to me how our cognitive skills and visual intellegence develops. Im learning more from these lessons than the girls are!

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Last edited by adam-crockett : 11-10-2005 at 11:33 PM.
 
Old 11-11-2005, 12:50 AM   #25
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This is a neat thread to read. Keep updating it =).
 
Old 11-11-2005, 03:39 AM   #26
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I'm an internship away from a degree in elementary education and I can tell you most states have a website listing PASS objectives for their educational expectations. These standards serve as an outline for teaching all the various subjects according to grade level which "usually" fits within the childs developmental level. You may already be aware of this but if not it will give you a good outline to formulate a lesson plan. Hope that helps if you teach more in the future. In addition, I taught a lesson on perspective to 4th graders and found powerpoint to be really helpful. Here's a link to Oklahoma's PASS objectives, keep in mind, Oklahoma ranks almost fifty in everything on a state by state scope, fifty being baaad.
http://www.sde.state.ok.us/home/home01_test.html?http://www.sde.state.ok.us/publ/pass.html!

Last edited by crutch : 11-11-2005 at 03:52 AM.
 
Old 11-11-2005, 07:31 AM   #27
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What an excellent resource, crutch! Im going to print out all the stuff on that page that has to do with visual art, and see how I can work it into fun lessons. Thats really key here too. Almost all the posts above talk about keeping the kids interested and not being too technical about the lessons, teaching them to explore and express themselves. How do you take this list of measurable goals and them into fun lessons that wont bore them to death? I'm going to go look for a washington version of this.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-11-2005, 10:36 AM   #28
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Haha, I have a couple of classmates that draw like that... and they are 19!

I wasn't saying YOU are too hard on them, but some people tend to get a little obsessive when it comes to performance, so I said it just to be sure

By th way, I learned something interesting today: did you know that adults have a view of 160 to 180 degrees, but that the view of children is actually smaller? It starts at almost nothing, and steadly gets wider when the child ages. Kids do not have "full view" untill they are about 14 years old. It's not that important (unless they want to draw landscapes, maybe), but I thought it was funny
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Old 11-11-2005, 03:00 PM   #29
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Michaelangelo

I have two small children. I have been an artist for years freelancing and what-not. I have recently have began working with a very, very talented and gifted artist, and an old friend, on developing new and amazing ideas to put into 3D.

While he and I are drawing, my kids draw with us. One day while creating some amazing piece of work my son (10) looked at him and said how do you draw so good?

Damon replied, "Murder your darlings".

My son said "What?", trying to understand what he meant.

Instantly, Damon took his eraser and killed this AWESOME piece of drawing he had been working on for a while.

My son looked at him in wonder...and said "Why did you do that!?"

Damon replied "Because when you fall in love with a drawing and you are not willing to rework the piece, it loses it's greatness".

My son instantly understood exactly what he meant. Then my son later asked "How do you draw the way you do?"

Damon replied, "My father would put down Michaelangelo works in front of me and tell me to draw those." Damon went on to explain "If you want to be able to draw great, you have to understand what great means".

My son later that week picked up a book from the library of Michaelangelo artwork and began trying to recreate it.

My son later asked Damon "What can I do to be a better drawer?"

Damon said "Study from the best, like your dad, and the old masters."

My son later asked, "How can I draw faces as good as yours?"

Damon replied "Sit down with your dad and draw his face while he draws yours", then if you want to understand how the pieces of a face fit together, but a picture of someone's face in half...tape that to a larger piece of paper and draw the other half."


I learned more from that session then I had in my life.

If you want to teach your children how to draw, then don't be afraid to tell them what isn't working as well as not being afraid to tell them what IS working.

They want to hear what makes them good as well as what they need to work on.
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:13 PM   #30
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Sanne-Chan:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanne-chan

By th way, I learned something interesting today: did you know that adults have a view of 160 to 180 degrees, but that the view of children is actually smaller? It starts at almost nothing, and steadly gets wider when the child ages. Kids do not have "full view" untill they are about 14 years old. It's not that important (unless they want to draw landscapes, maybe), but I thought it was funny


Wierd! I've never heard that before. Can you point me towards somewhere I can read more about that? That explains some things I've noticed about children : )

The wave:
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewave
I have two small children. I have been an artist for years freelancing and what-not. I have recently have began working with a very, very talented and gifted artist, and an old friend, on developing new and amazing ideas to put into 3D.

While he and I are drawing, my kids draw with us. One day while creating some amazing piece of work my son (10) looked at him and said how do you draw so good?

Damon replied, "Murder your darlings".

My son said "What?", trying to understand what he meant.

Instantly, Damon took his eraser and killed this AWESOME piece of drawing he had been working on for a while.

My son looked at him in wonder...and said "Why did you do that!?"

Damon replied "Because when you fall in love with a drawing and you are not willing to rework the piece, it loses it's greatness".

My son instantly understood exactly what he meant. Then my son later asked "How do you draw the way you do?"

Damon replied, "My father would put down Michaelangelo works in front of me and tell me to draw those." Damon went on to explain "If you want to be able to draw great, you have to understand what great means".

My son later that week picked up a book from the library of Michaelangelo artwork and began trying to recreate it.

My son later asked Damon "What can I do to be a better drawer?"

Damon said "Study from the best, like your dad, and the old masters."

My son later asked, "How can I draw faces as good as yours?"

Damon replied "Sit down with your dad and draw his face while he draws yours", then if you want to understand how the pieces of a face fit together, but a picture of someone's face in half...tape that to a larger piece of paper and draw the other half."


I learned more from that session then I had in my life.

If you want to teach your children how to draw, then don't be afraid to tell them what isn't working as well as not being afraid to tell them what IS working.

They want to hear what makes them good as well as what they need to work on.


excellent anecdotes. I love the "murder your darlings" part. I've always told my students to do that, though I never had such a macabre phrasing for it. You have to let go of that part of the drawing that you love so much, or soon the whole thing centers around that one part, and it becomes difficult to progress. My brother told me something that has always stuck with me, and that was, "once you mess up a piece (of art), its the most liberating thing in the world, because now you can do anything you want to it. It usually turns out better than the piece you'd originally envisioned" or something like that. I personally feel like a piece cannot be condsidered finished until I have completely reworked it at least 2 or 3 times.

Unah in particular gets very frustrated. She's upset that she cannot draw like me. To which I reply, "if you could draw like me, I wouldn't need to be here teaching you." I try to get them to accept where they are at, so that they can move forward. She draws for a couple minutes and then dramatically leans back and exclaims "its TERRIBLE! I'll never draw good!! wahhhhh!" Nevermind the fact that the drawing is already beautiful, and just needs more work. They are both very talented and creative, which is why I was excited to teach them. Instead I get a lot of resistance from them, like you often do between children and teachers. How do I get them to look up to me and learn willingly? I think that one problem is that its only once a week. I wish I had the time to go over there more often.
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