classroom

Sketching Birds with simple shapes

Just a short tutorial of the type of work I bring into the classroom.   Visiting the K-5 level classes I try to encourage a quick sketch technique based on using simple shapes and line. I always start with a warm up session before we begin.  In these examples I am using Manga Studio and a calligraphy pen tool for thick and think lines. In class I will use a broad tip marker, or a brush pen, on newsprint .  For the under drawing I use a prismacolor blue pencil or any soft lead.  

The hardest concept to convey seems to be the rough experimentation.  I want the kids to fill the page with gestures, eyes or feather studies.  Often this is the hardest part, as they like to darken lines, erase and get detailed a little to soon.  I try to encourage small studies on a single page.  Often I will draw lightly and messy, just to show how I am playing with options before picking what I like and going back to darken the lines.  They really seem surprised to see me scribble over a drawing or draw an "x" over parts.  Then they see how the under drawing really disappears as the marker comes out and the dark lines become dominant. 

Have fun and keep sketching....

Simple studies on details.  

 

Break down the key elements of the character and practice a variety of options.  

 

Often your first idea can be improved upon and even simplified for a better effect.  

 

Just play with shapes and see where is leads. Have fun.

Drawing faces with simple shapes

When visiting classrooms I like to focus on simple shapes.  Drawing faces and expressions using variations of circles or ellipses. Students in K-5 classes like to see how quickly and effectively they can capture emotion and expression.  Start off with some quick warm up exercises like drawing circles or parallel lines.  The shape of the head can vary from circles to boxes to boxes with a pointy edge.  Eyes are easy as circles with a simple addition of eyebrows. The mouth can be a minimal curved line, or a big open mouth smile.  Lastly, the hair can give a great deal of character and diversity.  I like to encourage experimentation with the class, showing a number of different ways to experiment.  Most importantly they need to relax and draw with their shoulder for loose flowing lines...(the mouse sketches below are from a previous handout used in class)

 

Art Parent last 5th grade visit

Went to visit the third grade and fifth grade classrooms. We drew cars, pickle cars, rocket cars, ketchup cars and future cars! I did feel challenged presenting because the students just wanting to ask questions constantly. My kids mentioned that I talked a little to much, more drawing please. I was happy using the computer and a projector in third grade class. It worked out pretty good. This was the last visit of the year and probably the last one for my oldest son who's in fifth grade. I'm going to miss this.