Monday, February 4, 2013

Drawing is Taking a Line for a Walk-Paul Klee

It amazes me how stressed kids get when it comes to an art project. The other day in a grade 5 classroom we were doing one line art drawings. I had one chiId crying because his work did not look like what he wanted. Others did not want to follow the simple rule of lines not drawn on top of another.

Maya, age 9
By the time kids get to the junior years, kids begin to feel that they have natural talent or they don't. Kids equate drawing realistically with being good at art. So many lose interest. This is a shame. We need kids to feel that thinking creatively is valuable. Our world is complex and we will need creative problem solvers to help us in the future.

This is why I like to do more abstract art projects in the junior years. I also emphasize that if they wanted to learn to draw realistically, that they must practice like any other skill they want to learn.

I really like Paul Klee. A Swiss artist who produced many diverse pieces of artwork. I like to show students some examples of artwork with simple lines and how colour is used to enhance a picture. Here is a more detailed biography.

I begin by asking student to draw something simple: flower, trees, house, cars etc.
Then I ask them to practice drawing a one line drawing.
The students trace over it with a sharpie.
Then they use watercolours to finish the paintings.


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