Teaching Drawing

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teaching drawing

Learning how to draw by Paul Carney

Whenever I get a class of art students (of any age) to draw something from observation I always get a wide set of results, ranging from excellent to struggling. That must mean that most students are not working on a level playing field because everyone has differing needs and abilities. And since drawing is a series of complex skills, it is natural to assume that people would prefer to acquire them at varying rates according to their own preferred learning style.

This drawing programme has been designed to cater for those individual learning needs and take the pain and difficulty out of learning to draw or teaching drawing. It is not a magic bullet that will show everyone how to draw without effort in ten minutes. It has been designed to guide you or your students through the stages and steps of how to learn to draw in video and presentations.

It will show you what you can do well already and what you need to do to improve. You will be able to start at the level that you think suits you best then work through it at your own pace, wherever you are able to access it. Learning to draw is difficult. It will take time, effort and dedication, but with this programme you will have a hand to guide you through the process.

The tutorials are aimed at improving the core skills of drawing and have been arranged into four stages. You should firstly complete the self-assessment worksheet that will help you to find out what stage of the drawing programme to begin.

Many students might wish to begin at a particular level but some might assess themselves as beginner in drawing shapes and complete those exercises, but foundation at shading and so complete them first etc.

So really it is up to YOU the student to decide what you need to learn and where you want to begin. What you must do is to complete all of the exercises to a HIGH level and not skip through the bits you don’t like or want to do.

1.  Foundation Drawing Stage

For those who would assess their current ability as: ”I can’t even draw a stick man, I’m hopeless.”

As its name suggests, Foundation pre-stage drawing is the level I would place people on who are complete novices. These are the types of people who say that they cannot even draw a stick man. Contained in these tutorials are lessons about how to shade simple shapes, some basic drawing tips and your very first drawing lessons for the stick man artists out there. It might be worth taking a look at this even if you feel that you are more advanced than this stage.

2. Beginner Drawing Stage

For those who would assess their current ability as: “I can draw a little bit, but I’m not very confident. I need lots of help.”

This stage of drawing develops the idea of seeing simple geometry when drawing from observation. It develops more advanced drawing and shading of 3D objects and observational shading to create form. There is also a 3D lettering project that brings all of these skills together.

3. Intermediate Drawing Stage

For those who would assess their current ability as: I can draw the basics ok, such as drawing outlines of shapes, but I need help with some areas such as how to shade etc.”

Here I show you how to combine geometry, measuring and shading skills from the first two stages into observational drawing of simple still life shapes. This exercise is a classic art lesson but it still holds enormous value because you will attain the important skill of interpreting objects through building line, detail and shading.

4. Advanced Drawing Stage

For those who would assess their current ability as: I’m quite good at drawing, I draw often, but I want to improve so that I can draw difficult things.” At this level of drawing you are challenged to construct, measure, shade and draw a more complex group of objects, rendering shading and detail with greater accuracy and precision


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