At this age children are very much concerned about the level of realism achieved in the drawing. The students are increasingly critical of their drawings, and easily get very frustrated about the lack of skills. It is exceptionally important to encourage them at this stage. Their focus is now on the end product as they strive to create “adult-like” naturalistic drawings.
To resolve the conflict between how the subjects really look and how they “come out” on the paper, it’s essential to learn how to see the structure of the things and the relationship between objects. Sometimes students tend to draw in cartoony style not only because they like it best, but also being afraid of creating the artwork that “doesn’t look right”. I’d recommend gradually introducing the observational drawing assignments that will help to find the unique artistic style and develop new skills in more realistic drawing.
When drawing or painting, many students try for more detail, hoping to achieve greater realism. My main goal as an art educator at this point is to help them to see their artwork as a whole, not just a “pretty” and “real-looking” piece, but an expression of their feelings and thoughts.
During the drawing sessions we will use values and light, as well as perspective to create the illusion of depth in drawings. The most favorite mediums at this time are probably are markers, pens and graphite pencils. In painting sessions we usually use acrylics, gouache and watercolors. Oil pastels are often used in combination with other paintings materials. Students are now encouraged to use canvases and easels, instead of painting on flat paper. The illustration project may combine various materials and techniques, including colored pencils, inks, and professional alcohol-based markers.
Main topics covered in these classes:
- lights and shadows;
- shading and dimensions;
- linear perspective: horizon, one-point perspective, two-point perspective. Drawing cubical and cylindrical objects in perspective ;
- tonal drawings: types of hatching and shading;
- color theory: color mixing, secondary and tertiary colors, analogous, complementary and split-complementary color schemes;
- symbolism in art;
- composition and focal point.
The classes are 60 min, and completing of one project may take 2 or 3 lessons. Each lesson consists of painting or drawing practice and a brief introductory talk with a slideshow or other visual support.