Sometimes I get a little frustrated to hear people tell me they can’t even draw a straight line because if I want to draw a straight line I will usually get out a ruler and use it as a straight edge.  I encourage students to begin their drawings by first sketching lightly and working on the composition first to fill the space.  After getting their ideas and thoughts down on paper, try to turn the stick figures into shape figure using rectangles, circles squares and triangles.  My students will often ask me how long I’ve been drawing and I tell them all my life.  I used to draw on everything, walls, car ceilings, the dirt, you name it and I was probably drawing on it, but I didn’t magically wake up one morning and know how to draw.  Practice, practice will help win video games.  Practice will provide skills to win the soccer match.  Practice will make someone a better drawer.

I introduce a new drawing material each year such as pencil, oil pastels, colored pencil, markers, chalks and charcoal.  Each year I try to build on skills from previous years.  We learn about how we can create textures and by changing the density of the marks you can achieve values.  We practice shading and blending.  I show them how to use tools such as viewfinders and grids to focus on the subject and make drawings more accurate.

I’ve been very pleased to see students achieve their goals and even the posters in the hall improve with more observance of shapes, shading, and textures.