One of my favorite things to do with the students is continuous line blind contour drawing. It almost always yields works of art that are interesting and intriguing. The element of surprise and leaving the act of creation up to a little bit of chance helps the students to let go of themselves and learn to trust themselves as well. It also proves to them that successful pieces of artwork don't always come in moments of highly-controlled planning and preparing and some of their best (and most favorite) works sometimes come organically and spontaneously.
This project was called the "One-liner Modern Art" drawing but I decided to just call it "The OneLiner" because I felt like for my purposes? That just makes more sense. The idea of taking the continuous line drawing and melding it with the technique of blind contour drawing aimed to teach them to learn to do mastercopy type work as well as drawing from still-life observations. They were also able to experiment with mixed media and they used crayon, watercolor, graphite, charcoal, ink, and marker for the coloring of their line drawings.
I adhered to the same framework I started with and introduced to you all last week with the Drawing from the Abstract lesson idea and this project idea (like the aforementioned) was inspired by something that I found in the Drawing Lab book that I love so much. I tried to preserve the essence of the drawing exercise but I expanded upon what it suggested and then fit all of that into the framework I am continuing to use for the creative process the students are learning to follow:
- Explore & Experiment - The students did speed drawing exercises both from still-life set ups as well as masterworks (I used this one from Picasso that is so popular - yes, the students did this upside down)
- Figure Out & Focus - The students did multiple peer reviews in order to help them consider techniques that they might have tried OR identify which technique they have used so that they can use it again and then intentionally create a work of art using that technique. They also did trials of either mastercopy works and/or working from a still-life set-up. They also tried out color palette ideas and different mediums.
- Stick or Scrap - The students looked critically at their own work and they decided whether they liked what they had been doing or if they wanted to go back to step #1 or #2 in order to create something that they felt was a little bit more successful and adhering to their goal with the work of art. Some of the students decided to abandon their mastercopy efforts and decided to go with one of the still-life set-ups and vice versa. They used intentionally decided upon color palettes and applied the color in specific ways.
- Know & Go - This is when the students got their final support to work on (watercolor paper) and they went confidently in the direction using specifically decided upon techniques and color palettes.
Some of the final works the students created are here! I am SO proud of them for what they both learned, figured out on their own, and created INTENTIONALLY vs. just making for the sake of making something. They worked very hard and it definitely shows (I think)...
Many of the students initially thought that they wanted to do a mastercopy but then they changed their minds because they realized the creative liberties they could take by creating something completely original (and in their unique styles) by working from observation. It was very exciting to see this discover this and also watch their technique and individual works develop from trial to trial and then make it to the final work that they turned in. I am having an especially difficult time picking pieces to go into the student gallery and that makes me so excited!! Now if only I could have the wall space to be able to show them all.
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