Monday, November 10, 2008
debating the relevance...
So I found myself in a debate with my advisor about the validity of life drawing. I am currently taking life drawing as part of my drawing concentration. Technically, one is suppose to take Drawing III twice to have a concentration in drawing, but in light of finding out about that bit of information too late, and wanting to take life drawing it all worked out to take life drawing and drawing III to fulfill my concentration. I was discussing this with my advisor and found myself in a debate over why life drawing would be beneficial to me as future art educator. In my program we are not required to take life drawing because it is something we would not teach in the schools. I found this reasoning shocking because that would void many other things I am learning here at Stout. This is especially unreasonable when every school has different funding and therefore can afford (or not afford) different classes. For example, the high school I attended was in a well funded area so I was able to take art metals, ceramics, graphic design, sculpture and all the "regular" art classes. Plus, in one of my drawing classes in high school we did do a form of life drawing, but with a clothed model. One of the students in the class would sit on the table while everyone gathered around and drew him or her for the class period. After informing my advisor this I was still shot down because "only a few schools have such extensive funding."
I proceed to say how I have learned so much more at this point in the semester in my life drawing class than I did in my drawing I and II classes. I am learning how doing art starts with the position and composure of the artists body. To have a drawing that is full of life, a person needs to place him or herself in a position that conveys life. Being in an uncomfortable position that does not use the full extend of a persons arm is not the way to portray life. It is also important to stand far enough a way from the paper to not only use the full extension of the arm, but to also have a clear line of vision of both the subject and the drawing.
I also emphasized my own desire to draw the human figure well for my future students. I know that art projects I did in High School incorporated drawing people. This is a skill I want to be able to not only do well, but know how to instruct my future students so they can also draw figures properly.
It may be a class focused on drawing the human figure, but I have been learning about proportion, line variation, utilizing the picture plane, proper posture, how to reflect, and how to really look and draw what is actually there.
After explaining and expressing my numerous reasons, our meeting time ended with the reconsideration of how life drawing can be valid for a future art educator.