By Deborah A. Rockman
Often the finest artists do not make the best teachers. Many frustrated college students of art know this all too well as they suffer through unstructured classes with inexperienced teachers or graduate student instructors. In these situations, it is easy to blame the teachers. But the problem is largely institutional: most students graduating with MFAs from art schools receive little if any instruction in teaching art. If you find yourself in this predicament as teacher or student, this book is for you. The first book to provide a comprehensive guide for teaching college-level art, The Art of Teaching Art is the culmination of respected artist and instructor Deborah Rockman's two decades of teaching experience. Believing that drawing is the backbone of all of the visual arts, she begins with a complete explanation of drawing concepts that apply to any subject matter, e.g., composition, sighting processes, scaling techniques, and methods for linear and tonal development. She then illustrates these concepts with step-by-step methods that easily translate to classroom exercises. Next, she applies the drawing principles to every artist's most important and challenging subject, the human figure. After an extended section on understanding and teaching perspective that explores illusionistic form and space, the focus of the book shifts to the studio classroom itself and the essential elements that go into making an effective learning environment and curriculum. From preparing materials lists and syllabi, to setting up still-lifes, handling difficult classroom situations, critiquing and grading student artworks, and shooting slides of student artworks, she leaves no stone unturned. The Art of Teaching Art is the guide every new or experienced teacher of college-level art must have. Its helpful suggestions and numerous examples of student artwork from Rockman's classes will impart confidence to the inexperienced and fresh inspiration to the veteran instructors.