After a long summer break, Mackenzie (11 years old) started up lessons again yesterday. We have so much fun together, and I love her enthusiasm for life and her sense of humour.
I decided to try a couple alternative or unconventional drawing exercises with Mackenzie yesterday. I want to teach her to see. Or rather, to see more clearly. To see things in a new way. It's amazing how learning to see differently can affect the way someone draws, paints, or creates in other ways.
So, one of the exercises I had Mackenzie do was a Tactile Self-Portrait: She had to close her eyes and slowly feel her face, hair, shoulders etc. I asked her to draw what she felt.
The purpose of this exercise was for Mackenzie to 'think outside of the box' . To challenge her to 'see' in a different way. To translate what she felt with her fingers (tactile information) into visual lines.
I helped Mackenzie find the colours she wanted to use.
It's common to judge the value of art based on how well it represents something. This is an example of placing value in every line and colour - In this case, every line and colour change represents something to Mackenzie.
Blind Contour Drawing is a classic exercise in drawing that is helpful in improving eye-hand communication (and is also a non-threatening way to just start drawing!). A fun way to practice this is to pick one type of animal specie (or birds, for this example), and overlap 3 or 4 blind contour drawings (draw the outline of the bird without looking at the paper). Then, finish it off with paint and some ink design. Here is one I did a couple years ago:
Daniella started art lessons with me this morning. I thought that this would be the perfect exercise for her to do. This was her very first time painting! After overlapping 3 blind contour drawings, I had her outline one main bird - a creation out of the lines already drawn out. Then she began to fill it in with variations of red paint:
Here is what she finished with:
I live in Southern Ontario on a farm with my husband, Dennis, and our two daughters. Painting out of my studio on our farm allows me to stay close to my family and to be surrounded by the natural landscape that continues to influence my work.