Friday, March 18, 2011

Art students surprise me

process of shading
about 3/4 finished

I teach art in my home studio. This winter session of 8 weeks, I limited the number of students to 9, which has been a good number. This enables me to plan well for each lesson...

But I am constantly surprised by the ability I see which flourishes when instruction on the "how to" is accompanied by encouragement. Even with kids, they are very self-critical of their work, as are most artists! The challenge is to show them how well they are doing, and how to work through the tough or tedious parts.

These pictures are of a 10 year old boy who is, in my opinion, artistically gifted. He has been drawing since he was 2 years old, and  striving for realism.

When he came to me in January, he was drawing fairly detailed birds, about 1" - 2" in size. He had drawn something large at one time, and whether someone said something negative, or whether it was his own perception, it "didn't turn out". He was very resistant to trying a drawing of a larger bird, as you can imagine, but with new ways of seeing and drawing being taught to him, he agreed to try.

What you see here is his drawing of a mute swan, based on one of my photos. He is about 3/4's done with the drawing, but already it looks amazing! His comment today was that he didn't know this drawing would be so hard (reading between the lines, I think he meant would take so long, and be so much of the same technique over and over - ie shading in different values). When he left, he was excited about how good it looks, and how he will be able to finish it next week - during our last lesson. 

The way I know he has enjoyed our lessons and all he has learned? Today he said that his mom would like him to learn how to use color because HE doesn't want to do all his work in black and white! So cute! We talked about that possibility, and he wants to learn to use pastel to do the animals I have been painting lately - the big cats, local wildlife like deer, moose, and anything else that I am painting.   :-)

I think that one day, this young man may be a well known wildlife artist - and I have the privilege of being his champion right now, when he is only 10 years old! How special is that!! I am thinking I might be teaching him again in the fall...when he is 11 years old.

No comments: