Contour lines

A huge part of drawing is creating lines. When we draw from observation it is very important to draw the lines exactly as we see them but our brain sometimes tries to put in details we know are there but we actually cannot see; like drawing the outline of nose as a kind of triangle shape. We did some exercises to train the brain to look carefully at the lines we wanted to draw. We did this with a series of contour drawings, single line drawings where you have to keep your pen on the page in one continuous line.

First we drew without looking. Drawing objects with looking at them to really think about what we can feel. Then we drew by looking at the object – carefully following a line but not looking at what we were drawing. The third time we could look at the object and our pages and then we found that we made really excellent lines because we were really observing the lines of the object.

Finally, we drew each other without looking at the page – this was really tricky and the results looked really funny, but very cool too.

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We also played a looking game! We had to pass a coin from person to person and one student had to look closely to see if they could find the coin. It was really hard because we were tricking each other by pretending to pass the coin!

 

Shape up!

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Now that we get the proportions of the body we decided that we still had some work to do on body shapes. Some of our drawings of people had banana arms or legs and feet like penguins! We looked at the how the body was made from different parts and how they were connected. Understanding how the body uses joints to move really helped us to draw people in different positions. We traced the body shapes onto magazine images and then drew each other in different poses. Mr. Gari is amazing at drawing so we asked him how he got so good. He told us that the key is practice and lots of it. Practise drawing each other at home to really master the techniques we are learning in class.

Grade 4 Proportion

How big is the giant who left  this footprint?

If the giant was the same proportion as a human only much, much bigger,  how could we use what we know about our own body to work out how big the giant is?

This is a question grade 4 had to work out as a way to help them understand proportion. They then went on to explore the proportions of the human body by taking a detailed look at their own proportions. The idea is that if they can understand the proportions of their own bodies then this will help them to draw figures that are in better proportion.

They certainly enjoyed working out their proportions.

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What did we learn?

At the end of this  unit of exploring how to draw more accurately the human form and how to consider line, shape and proportion the students had to create something using the skills and techniques they had learnt. It is a good way to see how the children have understood the lessons if they can use them to create something in a different media or in a different style using the skills and techniques taught. The children all had very different ideas; some drew, some painted, some created sculptures and others investigated shapes, lines and proportions of different things like animals, landscapes and planes! In reflection they said that they had leanrt to look more carefully and that drawing from observation required different skills and techniques than drawing from imagination.

 

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Looking at the Lines

Having investigated the proportions of the body and how the body moved, grade 4 wanted to move on to look at the face in more detail. Many of them reflected that this was an area they needed to improve on. What is difficult about drawing the face is that the lines are not always clear and we tend to imagine lines that aren’t there, especially around the nose. By making these traced images the children really concentrated on the lines they can see and not what they imagine when drawing a face. They used these traced images to help them create their own self portraits or portraits of each other. After this process they noted a marked improvement in their ability to draw the face and said they would use this technique again as a way to better understand the lines of the face.

 

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How do I look?

Now that we are thinking more carefully about proportion we also need to think about shapes. The students looked more carefully at how the shapes of the body go together by using a drawing figure, which they had to construct and recreate. They then posed as models for each other so that they could practice getting the basic shapes of the figure correct, and of course, in proportion.

Some children find drawing difficult and it can lead to them getting frustrated and some may question whether it is important to teach realistic drawing.  I have been doing a lot of reading recently about teaching drawing as it has been clear for me for a long time that children’s attitudes to art often depend on their perception of themselves as drawers. If they feel that they cannot draw they will feel that they cannot do art. This is very sad as a lot teachers now believe that kids can all learn to draw  – just as we can all learn to read and write. It is a matter of being taught to look carefully and be able to identify the shapes and lines that make up an object or scene. Another important factor is practice. After spending the lesson drawing each other in a number of poses all the kids agreed that the more the drew the better they got.

 

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Are we all in proportion?

 

 

How big is the giant who left  this footrprint?

If the giant was the same proportion as a human only much, much bigger,  how could we use what we know about our own body to work out how big the giant is?

This is a question grade 4 had to work out as a way to help them understand proportion. They then went on to explore the proportions of the human body by taking a detailed look at their own proportions. The idea is that if they can understand the proportions of their own bodies then this will help them to draw figures that are in better proportion.

 

They certainly enjoyed working out their proportions.

 

 

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