Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Rote memorization- just practice

sketch a day- day 2
In the art video I watched today, the artist instructor demonstrated how to draw the human figure and understanding how the body works and what shapes it is generally made up from.  So, today's sketch is of a model dummy I have that interestingly enough is not comprised of the same shapes that he demonstrated in the video.

Something he said in the video caught me as very interesting. He said that an artist has two talents... the first is being able to remember what things look like and to draw them from memory. I am and have always been weak in that. The second is in being able to see in a way that most people cannot, to break down an item, a figure, etc, and draw it on paper in a realistic way. That is my strength.  I have always happily leaned on it.

I always thought that my talent was what it was and that I could not fix the missing part of my artistry and learn to draw from memory. But according to this instructor, I was wrong. It seems that the way to strengthen this missing part of my skills is through wrote memory.  To practice. To draw items (in this case he was talking about anatomy and the human figure) over and over again. Use anatomy books.  Draw bones, tendons, muscles, etc until I can draw them without looking at the item.

Sounds familiar doesn't it. Isn't this how we taught our kids the alphabet, to count, to multiply, and history and grammar facts when we homeschooled them?  And the homeschooler becomes the homeschooled!

Why wouldn't I treat practicing my art like my kids practiced piano, or like I have always insisted they practice math through doing a few problems a day?  Why should it be any easier..  And considering that my hand feels crampy after just a 15 minute sketch, I can tell you it won't... but I will be better for it. Likewise, kids will be better for daily practice of math, language, and whatever they are endeavoring to learn.


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