Monday, July 23, 2012

Comix Class: Observational drawing

Last Thursday was Observational Drawing. Tough enough to do with adults and older kids, near on impossible with the 10 and under crowd. I had a much smaller group this week after losing some kids to camp. I knew that keeping their attention for life-drawing would be very difficult and I read a lot of different teaching techniques from the internet. All of them suggested only drawing from life in very short bursts, so the kids don't get discouraged. It's VERY hard, especially for younger children. Another thing all these techniques had in common was NEVER drawing for them, no demos whatsoever. If they don't understand the principles quite right, explain to them, or just let them do their own thing. But seeing the drawings of someone more experienced can be very daunting and intimidating for some kids. I've had experience with this before, while drawing with kids. They give up on their own drawings, and just ask me to draw things FOR them, because I'm better at it. It's a rare child who understands that only by doing over and over and over can they achieve the same results. Or maybe they do understand, and have no desire to commit, or don't have that kind of dedication to drawing.

While I'm on the subject, I get really pissed off when people tell me I'm talented, that they "can't even draw stick people", and that I'm lucky to have such a "gift" for drawing, or to be so "artistic". Bull@#%* I work HARD. It helps that I had parents who encouraged me, and that I have a very competitive/obsessive personality. I wasn't any better at drawing than any of the other kids in my kindergarten class. Only better than a FEW in grade 1, and only because by then a lot of them were already not drawing every day. Already their parents were having them do extra math work and go to prep schools after school let out. These kids didn't have time to doodle and play freely like I did. The only skills I have over someone who can't draw stick people, are an obsessive nature (some would say stubborn), a hardness when it comes to myself, and a slightly better eye for small details. The reason I have the abilities I have today are because I worked hard to get them. I practiced drawing the way other people practice math equations, or speeches, or driving. 

Don't tell me I'm lucky. It wasn't luck. 

OK, enough ranting, check out some of the weird things the kids came up with. First, a blind contour drawing of yours truly! 

I had them draw some objects too. A necklace, some deodorant, a plastic dinosaur and a mug.

Because it was so popular last week, whenever I noticed the kids' attention waning, we did a round or two of exquisite corpses, I joined in this time, despite having plans not to draw for the kids. I was getting pretty bored myself. 

This is what we're gonna tackle next week, and a few other ways to make books too. Hopefully by the end of the class, the kids will have models of books they've made, so they can use them to make more whenever they want! I'm also hoping we'll have time to actually make short comics in at least one of them.

I'm not sure at this point if there will be any continuing classes in August, or if there IS, what the age group will be or what the subjects will be. I'm almost hoping for some older kids, with attention spans longer than 3 minutes, so we can get more into the knitty gritty, and the really fun stuff, something a little more complicated than barebones contour drawings and exquisite corpses.

So just in case you've forgotten, and you really wanna sign up your lil' rugrats for my last class:

phone: 416-901-7489 Email: