Thursday, 8 October 2015

Life Drawing in Senior Classes

Life drawing can be challenging to teach. Often we look on it as a skill someone either has or doesn't have. However, I believe that while being artistic is a trait only some children will have, drawing, like most skills, can be taught, practiced and improved on by the use of a few simple tricks and by teaching children to be more observant when drawing. 

A few years ago I found this excellent idea on how to draw figures in a very simple way. The children love participating in this lesson, it increases their 
confidence in their drawing skills and they will often feel very proud of their finished work. While there will be children who come out of the lesson with very realistic drawings, I also like how even lower ability students can show that they have observed the shape and positioning of the body and limbs and have become less hung up on creating 'perfect' faces (a common mistake in children's drawing of people). 

This method of drawing involves the following steps (while looking at a mannequin similar to those above):

       Step 1: Draw an egg shaped head and the spine, shoulder and hip lines. 

Step 2: Draw in joints (as circles) for the shoulders, elbows and hands and connect them together with lines. Add in hip joints also. 

Step 3: Add triangular shaped rounded blocks for the torso and pelvis.

Step 4: Add leg lines, knees and feet. 

Step 5: Join the round knees to the pelvis with curvy lines and then join the knees to the feet (you are thickening the legs on both sides).


Step 6: Join the shoulders to the elbows with curvy lines and then join the elbows to the hands (thickening the arms).

Step 7: Draw two lines down either side of the torso.

Step 7: Add in a neck, add detail to the feet and hands and rub out the initial lines you drew so you are only left with the outline. 

Step 8: This process can be repeated for a variety of different poses. Once the child can identify the positioning of the joints of the person/figure then they should be able to recreate most poses.

Step 9: Once they have mastered this skill, the class can they be asked to draw their classmates in various poses. 

I hope you found this technique useful. If you have any more tips on life drawing, leave a comment below!

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