Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Drawing intensifies (and gets freakier) at Searsport...

The Searsport artists are seriously addicted to drawing. I have no problem with that. It's been amazing watching these guys evolve with every drawing - they are amazing about letting me push them a little bit out of their comfort zone or toward some kind of fine-tuning. The fact that over the two hours I'm constantly approached by someone with a huge grin showing me another completed work says it all. That kind of pride, fearlessness, and enthusiasm is what I'd expect from first or second graders... keeping that fire lit and fanning the flame during the "I'm not good at art" years of middle school is what it's all about. Hugely gratifying.
I ordered a deck of Zen Tangle cards (rush delivery - got them today!) that show step by step directions for making some really cool looking patterns. One student shared her sharpie collection with everyone, and I also brought a book of inspiring quotations, a book of comic-style illustrated poems, and of course, the Zen flute music. Which was very much in demand today. Have you ever been a teacher the day before a predicted snow storm? AND pep rally?

Joey's drawings are great. The best part? He knows it.

Sophie brought in this black and white drawing and said "I have to overcome my fear of adding color!" Done.
Josh was nearing meltdown after several attempts to copy a design.
I suggested looking at the image longer, and "talking through" the lines before
picking up the pen. Then there was no stopping him!
Many artists in Searsport are inspired by books they are REALLY into.  This is a character from "Warriors" who, apparently, changed her name from the painful reminder "LostFace" to Bright Heart. Good call. 

THEN I busted out the creative challenges. Today I used a book I love for my own artistic stretching. I really wasn't sure how it would go over - the aim of the exercises is to get people out of their rigid drawing habits (a big thing for this age group - everyone has their "thing" that they draw) to help discover new styles and approaches.  Success: the drawings were WAAAY out there, totally appreciated by their creators, everyone worked their drawings further with color, etc...and the gang left saying how fun today was.

These came from a series of steps without visuals, called "Picasso Dogs".  Draw an eye. Turn the paper 90degrees. Draw another eye. Turn the paper. Draw a leg or paw of some sort... Then, connect the parts with line and use color, shading, etc to make it all work as an abstract drawing. "Out of the box" happened, I'd say.
This piece is one of many great drawings to come from an exercise aimed at loosening up lines and form. It took a couple of tries before "Put your pen to paper, don't lift it until you've drawn your chosen object from memory, with one fluid line. Lizard did this cat mostly with eyes closed, then filled a page with rounded scribbles with eyes shut. The sunlight in the art room is blinding - so glad she handed me both drawings! Great background shining through!
And now, a tutorial on creating smooth, solid color fills:

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