Cycle 3 Week 1- Apples and OiLS

Image of Illustrated Apple

This art project will probably be quite a bit different from what you are used to in CC.  As tutors, we usually draw a picture on the board and have the students copy as we draw.  The students are (hopefully) looking at the lines and drawing them on their own paper.  This is essentially the same skill as drawing a still life, where we look at something, analyze the lines and shapes, and reproduce it.  However, I think students may be missing the real-world translation.  How do we draw something without copying someone else’s drawing?  How do we take the OiLS concept from “Drawing With Children” and connect it to drawing an object (or person, or landscape)?

This lesson is a series of sketches, not a finished artwork.  The project may feel unusual, but it imparts a seriously important drawing skill.  Try practicing at home and notice if it changes the way you think as you draw.

In last week’s post I talked about using the phrase “Let’s study what we see”.  As you teach lesson one, use the phrase all the time.  This lesson is a great starting point as we drive home the idea over the next six weeks. Continue Reading →

Cycle 3 Introduction

Welcome back!  I hope you are excited and encouraged to start the new school year!

As we go through the next six weeks, I will be using the phrase “let’s study what we see”.  As tutors, we want this to become part of our art vocabulary, and, most importantly, we want to equip our student’s parents with the phrase so they can use it at home as they teach their children how to draw.

When we draw, we must look.  I believe that looking is actually the primary skill in drawing, not the act of putting pencil to paper (and this is actually encouraging- if you can see, you can draw!).  How do we hone the skill of drawing?  By studying what we see before we even touch pencil to paper.

So let’s unpack our previous phrase a little bit- “Let’s study what we see”: “Let’s”- As parents we can help by looking with our children and asking questions as they draw.  Think of yourself as a guide.  There’s no need to draw for them, even when they ask for help.  Simply ask questions that point them back to the object as they draw.  “Study”- to carefully examine and analyze.  Studying is not a quick look.  It is an extended, careful examination of what’s in front of us.  We teach our kids to carefully examine the material and concepts set before them, and this applies to art perfectly.  “See”- Yep, you must actually look at the object.  A lot.  Students want to skip this step.  Don’t let them.

In addition to teaching drawing skills, most lessons over the next six weeks will connect with U.S. landmarks.  Next week’s lesson will be a simple still life, and from there we will jump into drawing things such as the Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty, and the White House.  Stay tuned for Cycle 3 Lesson 1 coming soon!