January 25, 2015

For the love of teaching & art….

Things are really starting to get rolling and I'm feeling vibrant, excited and enthusiastic about my upcoming students this term. Helping others by teaching them these skills makes me feel a deep sense of achievement. I taught my Drawing 1 class the importance of value in creating depth with their tools of choice. I began with a demonstration of how to use graphite/pencils (I used just a regular old HB pencil) to create a value chart that we will cut out and use as a shading reference. Below are the students at work on their first assignment this class.
After they completed their value charts I did a demonstration by shading a sphere to show how the fall of light creates the core and cast shadows. Then I outline what to observe and how to use the value chart.  Time to turn out the lights. I set up the single source lighting and allow them to move around my collection of shapes so that they have something they find visually appealing to draw for the remainder of the class.
The class circled their stations. They set up their drawing tables, larger white sheets of paper and drawing materials. First and most important is to look. It is said that most masters of the craft look more than they actually draw. They take the time to understand and plan their drawing before making their first mark.
Here are an assortment of white shapes. Notice the different values of shadows that help describe the depth of the shapes. A circle is a shape with no shading, that same circle with graduated shadows becomes a 3 dimensional sphere. Light and dark is what depth is all about.
Notice the reflected light and how in drawing, no lines are really used, it is the contrast between light and dark that make the shapes. I discussed the three main types of lighting styles used in art and pointed out what areas of the values scale are used in each.  Most of the art students I trained with dreaded the shapes, personally love them, otherwise I would not have my own collection of teaching aids. After my class I went over to the Southwood library to teach a room full of kids how to make flip books, can't take pictures though so I'll continue writing about my Sunday class.
On Sundays I often instruct sampler's at Swintons art supply. I got in the student grade goop and showed basic colour wheel mixing as well as changing the value by tinting with contrasting colours, darks and whites. I love colour so much. It is kind of like candy. Here I use the bright chromes but there are also both warm and cool versions of each of the primary tones and a few choices for browns to work with but we do keep a very basic palette at first so they get an experience and a try at using the material.
I try and cover as much as I can about the process in a very short period of time.  Sometimes I am jealous how true and honest their application is at first. It will take me a lifetime to get back to this level. I really like how it looks at this stage. Artists learn when to stop, but you have to go too far to actually know when that is. This is still bit early in the process but her painting turned out wonderfully by the end of the allotted class time.
 The tones and values she used are wonderful. I love that she work a matching shirt. I take the class on a tour of the important and relevant areas and products int he storefront. What one does not need and how to save money as I am still as thrifty a creator as it gets. It is important when first starting out because it can be expensive to get the initial stockpile of equipment to begin, and then you just add on and replace whatever runs out.
Believe it or not, these are for the most part first time painters making it look easy. this mother and daughter made two very different styles of trees. I love their palettes too.  If you want to try out oil or acrylic paint one Sunday, its only $40 and all the supplies and me are included.  Sign up for a sampler online at Swinton's Art Supply. Here is where to find it on the website: http://www.swintonsart.com/instruction/samplers

There are tons of other great demonstrations and courses to check out where everything is art http://www.swintonsart.com

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