Drawing Expectations

Tomorrow is the first day of class for the two sections of two-dimensional design at the community college that I will be teaching,  but I still have a fuzzy glow from the summer class that I taught in basic drawing.  How fortunate was it to be with a group of amazingly committed students...and how fabulous to see them gain skills and confidence over a five week period!

Our students are a diverse lot, both in age, cultural backgrounds, and art experience.  On the one hand there are students with years of art experience and instruction, and on the other there are those that have never considered the act of drawing!  In a college such as ours, students must have one art class in order to qualify  for their associates degree.  Often this class is the last minute choice for frantic students.  Sometimes it is the class of choice for a recently retired person who had promised themselves that they would make room for art in their lives once they had time in their schedules.  For those who expect to make their art their profession, this is a foundation course.

I had a lot of students who had no previous experience who took off like rockets...Sometimes I had to reassure students that they could could do it if they persevered.  It is difficult for some to understand that the basic exercises of blind contour and gesture drawing can actually help one build great hand/eye coordination.

I use a lot of analogies to sports and tell them to consider me their coach.  After the interminable basic exercises we move along into developing skills in sighting and the use of wet and dry media.

We explore the elements of line, shape, texture, and value as well as design principles.  Composition and simple perspective can challenge many but will ultimately help them to achieve what they wish.

Note that the "spiral" at the bottom of the drawing was drawn onto the page and not part of the physical pad itself!  Sweet detail!

Whether they are "kissed by angels when they were born" with incredible talent (developed or latent) or just your average run of the mill busy person, with or without learning disabilities, drawing is something that humans can do.  We are communicators after all and it is an ability that is a part of each of us.