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Excellent Contour Drawing Lesson

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  • Judy Decker
    (Melissa - now I have to go and see who broke the rule - smle -- Oh-but I love that one! Hope you don t mind my passing this to the other lists now) Dear
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 1, 2003
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      (Melissa - now I have to go and see who broke the rule - smle -- Oh-but I
      love that one! Hope you don't mind my passing this to the other lists now)

      Dear Friends in Art Education,

      For Middle School/High School (adaptable to lower grades). Melissa Speelman
      (http://www2.sycamoreschools.org/jh/Art/speelmanm/) has posted her 7th grade
      contour drawing lesson to Getty ArtsEdNet. I sent this idea to many of you
      over the summer. Here is a great explanation:

      http://www2.sycamoreschools.org/jh/Art/speelmanm/contourgal/index.htm

      My contour drawing lesson is one of the few that I repeat on a regular
      basis. It's one of those projects where EVERY student finds success and
      ends up with an incredible piece of art. I do this with my 7th grade. It
      is usually our second major project. I use it as an intro to learning to
      see (observation drawing). We begin with a Betty Edwards style upside-down
      drawing and discuss the right and left side of the brain. Then we move on
      to a few blind contour drawings of the hand. We move on to modified line
      with hands as our subject once again and then try a portrait. The "final
      exam" as I call it is a very detailed portrait + EVERYTHING in the
      background using modified line on 18x24" paper. The drawings don't take as
      long as you'd think usually about one bell (50 min.) each. Students draw
      the person across from them and I ask them to include the edge of the table
      in their composition. Drawings are then outline with permanent marker.

      The color is applied using watercolor and colored pencil. This part is a
      little involved. Students are asked to "fracture" the composition by
      drawing a pattern over their drawing (circles, stripes, free form shapes,
      clouds, etc). Students will use a warm and cool color scheme. Each student
      decides which color scheme will go with watercolor and the other applies to
      colored pencil. Colored pencil areas will be filled with patterns using the
      designated color scheme. Watercolor areas will be filled with solid color
      or a graded wash using the opposite cool scheme. Each defined shape (a
      shape is defined by the contour lines as well as the pattern lines) will
      filled with a different pattern or wash.

      For example: Let's say a student drew circles over their composition. Each
      defined shape inside the circles could be filled with different colored
      pencil patterns using only cool colors. Then each defined shape outside of
      the circles would be filled with watercolor (solid color or graded wash)
      using only warm colors. I usually tell students they can only use mixed
      watercolors because I really can't stand those colors straight out of the
      pan.

      I have a had a class or two that just cannot get these "rules" straight. I
      have been known to simplify them. However I find that if I show them an
      example and explain the process the catch on quickly. Also, some of the
      patterns students choose present complications of their own. Many times if
      I sit with a student and go over their choices for color schemes the light
      bulb goes on and they "get" it.

      I hope this all makes sense. Take a look at the images to clear things up
      (The first image doesn't follow the "rules" so check out the others). It's
      much easier to "show" than to explain with the written word.

      (Daniel Cherney - if you are reading - Melissa has some great middle school
      ideas - Check out the 3-D portraits)

      Judy Decker - Ohio
      Jdecker@...
      Incredible Art Department
      http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/
      http://www.incredibleart.tk
    • anthony and teresa
      .. very difficult for my middler students {3rd - 6th} to actually allow a cognition to hand drawing ..... i also often have students begin with upside down
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 3, 2003
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        .. very difficult for my middler students {3rd - 6th} to actually
        allow a cognition to hand drawing ..... i also often have students
        begin with upside down contour {[naturally they are not impressed
        with the result},THEN takeing that drawing and stick thier pencil
        right through the middle of it to create a blinder for a blind
        contour drawing exercise...the below posted lesson will be a good
        follow up to that experience.

        --- In art_education@yahoogroups.com, "Judy Decker" <JDecker@w...>
        wrote:
        > (Melissa - now I have to go and see who broke the rule - smle --
        Oh-but I
        > love that one! Hope you don't mind my passing this to the other
        lists now)
        >
        > Dear Friends in Art Education,
        >
        > For Middle School/High School (adaptable to lower grades). Melissa
        Speelman
        > (http://www2.sycamoreschools.org/jh/Art/speelmanm/) has posted her
        7th grade
        > contour drawing lesson to Getty ArtsEdNet. I sent this idea to
        many of you
        > over the summer. Here is a great explanation:
        >
        >
        http://www2.sycamoreschools.org/jh/Art/speelmanm/contourgal/index.htm
        >
        > My contour drawing lesson is one of the few that I repeat on a
        regular
        > basis. It's one of those projects where EVERY student finds
        success and
        > ends up with an incredible piece of art. I do this with my 7th
        grade. It
        > is usually our second major project. I use it as an intro to
        learning to
        > see (observation drawing). We begin with a Betty Edwards style
        upside-down
        > drawing and discuss the right and left side of the brain. Then we
        move on
        > to a few blind contour drawings of the hand. We move on to
        modified line
        > with hands as our subject once again and then try a portrait.
        The "final
        > exam" as I call it is a very detailed portrait + EVERYTHING in the
        > background using modified line on 18x24" paper. The drawings
        don't take as
        > long as you'd think usually about one bell (50 min.) each.
        Students draw
        > the person across from them and I ask them to include the edge of
        the table
        > in their composition. Drawings are then outline with permanent
        marker.
        >
        > The color is applied using watercolor and colored pencil. This
        part is a
        > little involved. Students are asked to "fracture" the composition
        by
        > drawing a pattern over their drawing (circles, stripes, free form
        shapes,
        > clouds, etc). Students will use a warm and cool color scheme.
        Each student
        > decides which color scheme will go with watercolor and the other
        applies to
        > colored pencil. Colored pencil areas will be filled with patterns
        using the
        > designated color scheme. Watercolor areas will be filled with
        solid color
        > or a graded wash using the opposite cool scheme. Each defined
        shape (a
        > shape is defined by the contour lines as well as the pattern
        lines) will
        > filled with a different pattern or wash.
        >
        > For example: Let's say a student drew circles over their
        composition. Each
        > defined shape inside the circles could be filled with different
        colored
        > pencil patterns using only cool colors. Then each defined shape
        outside of
        > the circles would be filled with watercolor (solid color or graded
        wash)
        > using only warm colors. I usually tell students they can only use
        mixed
        > watercolors because I really can't stand those colors straight out
        of the
        > pan.
        >
        > I have a had a class or two that just cannot get these "rules"
        straight. I
        > have been known to simplify them. However I find that if I show
        them an
        > example and explain the process the catch on quickly. Also, some
        of the
        > patterns students choose present complications of their own. Many
        times if
        > I sit with a student and go over their choices for color schemes
        the light
        > bulb goes on and they "get" it.
        >
        > I hope this all makes sense. Take a look at the images to clear
        things up
        > (The first image doesn't follow the "rules" so check out the
        others). It's
        > much easier to "show" than to explain with the written word.
        >
        > (Daniel Cherney - if you are reading - Melissa has some great
        middle school
        > ideas - Check out the 3-D portraits)
        >
        > Judy Decker - Ohio
        > Jdecker@w...
        > Incredible Art Department
        > http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/
        > http://www.incredibleart.tk
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