Friday, September 23, 2016

*VIP* Observation drawing part 2: contour

*Very Important Project* The second week of our observation drawing unit in 4th and 5th grade focused on contour line, which is the exact opposite of last week's gesture drawing exercises - gesture is fast, sketchy, and not detailed, while contour is slow, smooth, and shows details. Read about our gesture drawing in this earlier post. We drew objects from a box for the majority of our 45 minutes, and the kids really enjoyed the quiet focus. I emphasize that these are exercises, not complete artworks, although many are certainly worthy of hanging. We are trying to make an eye-brain-hand connection, so quiet focus is necessary. A few tips: keep going if you make a mistake, try overlapping and going off the page, try not to lift the pen.

At the end of class, we tried a blind contour portrait - still using the slow, smooth line, but not looking at the drawing at all, only at the subject, in this case a classmate model. This was lots of fun and I bet most of them went home and practiced on siblings!

The "on the head" method of blind contour is fun for a quick portrait, but using a paper plate "mask"  with a pencil hole in it is much more comfortable for a longer drawing session.

Contour drawing is a great way to begin a longer, more involved artwork. If you'd like to try this in your classroom, check out my Observation Drawing packet, available on Teachers pay Teachers. I have also just added a free download for the foil figure sculpture, which goes so well with this unit.
Next up, we will continue to observe nature as we create some very artistic pumpkins in the style of Yayoi Kusama. Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mrs. Knight

    I love the blind contour drawing - especially the technique drawing on top of the head. It sets the creativity free.
    Best regards from a Danish art teacher and blogger:


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