Tuesday, October 05, 2010

How homeschoolers do things: a drawing lesson

We are using Bruce McIntyre's Drawing Textbook this year, picked up in a free box at a homeschool meeting--today was our first lesson.

What we needed: paper (we used some pink paper just for a change from white), drawing pencils, the textbook, and a few props (a pumpkin, a bagel, and a coffee mug).

What we did: Read through McIntyre's "The Seven Laws of Perspective" at the beginning of the book, and looked at how his drawing of a doughnut illustrates all seven of those laws (overlapping, shading, density, foreshortening etc.). We didn't have any doughnuts to show how a round doughnut becomes a flattened-circle shape in a drawing, so we made do with a bagel.

Then we skipped over to exercises 1, 2 and 3 from the main part of the book: drawing a birthday cake, a television set, and a "simple candle." These involve foreshortened circles and squares. Everybody had a few tries at trying to get all the lines to go in the right direction, and nobody got too frustrated. The girls also got amusement out of showing me how younger kids would draw a birthday cake or a candle, without the understanding of perspective that they have.

Both girls have done drawing classes with groups, and they've heard lots about shading, but sometimes you just have to go back to how you make round things look round without drawing them round. This is good stuff especially for Crayons to learn along with the geometry and measurement she's doing in math.

Art lessons don't have to be expensive or fancy. Sometimes you learn more from a simple idea and a bagel.

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