Magazine article School Arts

Drawing Is Basic (A Pre-K through Grade 6 Series of 8 Books)

Magazine article School Arts

Drawing Is Basic (A Pre-K through Grade 6 Series of 8 Books)

Article excerpt

Art is a complementary mode of learning--completing the linear mode--tapping senses, intuition, feelings, and imagination. Drawing is just as important a vehicle of expression as writing and speaking. It is within the power of every person to draw.

Drawing is as personal as handwriting. We all learn to shape the cursive letters the same way. Yet, we evolve a handwriting that is our identification. So, too, our drawing style must be equally personal. Teachers should not teach students what something should look like; rather, they should teach students how to look at something. Each child will see uniquely, according to the level of maturity and the keenness of perception. These drawings of shoes were done by children in the first, third, and fifth grades. Note both the development and the individuality of the drawings.

When we teach perception, we are teaching reading at the same time. Reading begins with following a line of letters and looking carefully. And that is what perceptual drawing develops in the child. When students draw this way--letting their eyes direct their hands--their concentration is beautiful. I encourage taking this draw/write break when students are restless. It calms and centers them. They go back to their other lessons relaxed and ready.

My experience with teachers as well as students has proven to me that it is linear thinking that stifles individuals' drawing. Once empowered to risk "drawing with their eyes"--in other words, really following edges with their eyes and letting the hand record them--everyone can draw. …

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