Wednesday, August 15, 2007

#1 Drawing Steps

Here's a skinny little book with a heap of wisdom made by Crayola crayons. I've had it as long as the Copyright--- 1977, so I don't know if they still make it. Listen to the message on the back cover.
When we were children, we envied those who seemed to know, instinctively, what steps to take in transferring an image in their heads to one on paper. Knowledge of such procedures helps to create a success experience rather than one of frustration or avoidance of the area entirely.
Today the trend in education is toward freedom of expression. However, educators are also finding that there is a need for a certain amount of drill and formal structure. In a a step by step drawing approach, the child can learn proper technique without even being aware that he is doing so.
This is similar to the the way that many of us initially learned to speak correctly. First, we imitated the manner of speech of those around us . We knew that certain word combinations "sound right". Later we learned about sentence structure and grammar. One need not choose between the old educational methods and the new.
Once having learned the basic skills, the young artist is free to explore further. Feeling confident that he can draw and express himself as he intended, he will be encouraged and may go on further to explore his creativity.

I was looking forward to introducing this book to Kenzie. She's likes blank white paper (from my printer) and skinny colored markers. She draws and make things, but she was ready for some drawing techniques. The neat thing about this book is that she'll be able to use it for years, improving as her hands becomes more confident in drawing the shapes and following the directions for shading.

Her bird is a bit rudimentary, but it is a recognizable bird. She got a little mixed up when she drew the stem on the flower, but she still liked it. I think this guide enhances the magic of a child's art and doesn't diminish it.

I like the way the drawings proceed from left to right. This helps to train the child's eyes for reading. I am reading a Maria Montessori book that says that shapes help to teach a child to write. These drawings are basically put together with shapes. A four year old can recognize all the shapes and possibly draw them, although some will be a bit lopsided.
These elements in learning to Draw remind me of Writing. My last formal writing class was the same year this Crayola book was published. Next week, I'm starting the semester of a College Composition class. I'm looking forward to this next step. Since I like to write, my plan is to keep on writing and writing better. Blogging is a good motivator and a place to practice. An organized class will be good to stretch my fingers and my brain.

Can You apply these Drawing Steps to your creative endeavors?

  • Step One. Choose anyone of the subjects.
  • Step Two. Draw the first step very carefully and very lightly.
  • Step Three. Add the second step carefully and lightly.
  • Step Four. Continue on the last step using the colors indicated
  • Step Five. In the final step strengthen all the outlines.

If our birds are gonna fly, we have to keep pushing them out of the nest. I'm thinking of a song from--- you guessed it-- the seventies. The song has a few lines which remind me that even though we may be comfortable with the way we are, we need change and challenge to keeping growing.

And small steps make a distance. And I know your love reminiscence. But the fact of the matter remains that we have to change. And changes are the best way we can learn to be. I see it in the fields and the forests And the colors in the rippling sea And in the ponds of stagnant water From the lack of running free.

Lyrics from a song by Shawn Phillips

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