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Arts & Activities - Page 20

e Mandy Brandon 20 samantha march 2013 • 80 years > by Julia M. Conley x ven students who enjoy sketching can be intimidated by figure drawing. There’s something about the human body that paralyzes teenage artists’ hands and brains. Loose, flowing drawings turn into tight, controlled diagrams. I have been searching for several years to find a way to loosen up my highschool students’ work as they begin to draw the human figure. We spend time drawing wooden manikins in various positions to get a feel for the ways a body can move. We do quick gesture drawings of sports figures round-robin style, passing the photos around the table every 30 seconds. But, when a human model starts to pose, everyone tightens up. Determined and undaunted, I found a way to avoid that “tightness,” and allow students some room to build their drawings in layers. For this assignment, the students choose two water-based markers, one being a light value and the other dark. Some students select analogous colors, others bright complements. Using only basic geometric shapes, we begin by sketching a model on 18" x 24" paper with the light marker. I ask the students to work large, fill the page and resist the urge to draw details, especially in the face. If they are unhappy with a line, or want to change part of the drawing, I encourage them to just draw over it and keep going. Markers can’t be erased, so you must restate the line. Restating fits right in with the loose, gestural shapes of the figures. After 10 minutes of drawing, when everyone is satisfied with the shapes and proportion of their figures, the model has

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