36 DECEMBER 2016 SchoolArts
M I D D L E S C H O O L
have been perfecting and refining
my figure and gesture drawing les-
sons for as long as I've been teach-
ing middle school because teaching
students how to draw people confi-
dently will serve them for a lifetime.
After completing a unit on figure and
movement, it seemed only natural to
ask my students to translate those
skills into sculpture.
We had been drawing from face-
less wooden mannequins when I sug-
gested to students that it would be fun
to create their own gestural human
sculptures from plaster bandages. They
embraced the idea and got to work cre
ating unique, expressive vignettes.
Drawing the Human Body
Students began by drawing the
human body, focusing on proportion.
I introduced gesture drawing and had
them practice using foreshortening
and drawing action lines, starting at
the weight-bearing foot of the model
and following the curve of the spine.
I rolled paper out over the tables
and we used models from the web
tools/figure-drawing/ projected from
my desktop computer onto our white
board to practice drawing. I turned
off the lights, gave each student a
black marker and additional drawing
paper, and set the website to change
the pose every two minutes. (By con
trolling the settings from my teacher
station I was able to choose only
models that were fully clothed.)
Eliana, grade eight.