SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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E L E M E N T A R Y N o, not another self-portrait! Do I have to draw me?" "Can I draw myself not smiling?" "I don't like drawing teeth. Why do I need to learn this?" These are comments that I hear as students start working on one of their self-portrait assignments. I think to myself, how can I make this more engaging for my students? How can I make observa - tional drawing fun and inspiring? Why a Portrait? Portraits and observational draw- ing have always been a cornerstone Leigh Drake THE GRID of art. Observational drawing is the best way to discover and prac - tice the basic techniques of draw- ing. These learned skills can later be applied to any subject in art. Drawing portraits helps students develop and strengthen their natu - ral drawing abilities. It also aids in improving observation and render - ing of shape, tone, color, pattern, and texture in a variety of media. Choices and Constraints After completing a course on differ- entiation and instruction in art educa- tion at Kutztown University with Dr. Heather Fountain, I was inspired by the idea of "choice making" in the artroom—letting go of the reins and allowing students to gain ownership of what they create. For this lesson, I gave students the following instructions: 1. Students would draw themselves while observing, without adding any other information. 2. Students would split up their por- trait into at least six sections. This could be after the physical draw- ing of the portrait. 3. Students could choose the draw- If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn. —Ignacio Estrada 32 SUMMER 2018 SchoolArts

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