Great ideas to get drawing

This week I have been contemplating how to get my senior students drawing more. Not just drawing but enjoying the drawing process and being artistically fed by drawing. No easy feat with the pressures of the VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education – last 2 years of secondary schooling), part time work and of course the socialising that ‘has to go on or else I won’t survive’. I think back to my own life at this time and I believe it was the same for me, and I am smiling. Nevertheless, it has now become my job to inspire, encourage and teach, and part of that is to enthuse the students about the value and importance of just plain drawing.

As I have been thinking about this aspect of art/school life I’ve come across some great ideas that, if persevered with, will enable the drawing and creative process.

Still life in charcoal by Year 10 student, 2010

Great idea number 1. Lyric Kinard, who writes a blog Lyric Art, decided to draw a face a day for a whole year. She has documented the journey on her blog and it’s amazing to see. In my opinion she was already pretty good in the drawing faces department but she set herself on a path to improvement. I am not sure I could do something everyday for a year but I still love the idea. She looked for ways to succeed in this challenge like using small cards to draw on so that she didn’t feel precious about ruining a sketchbook. I really like that idea it’s so important to implement ways to succeed in life. And I like the idea of flicking back through a box of drawings and seeing progress. Wonder if my students could draw an object everyday for just a week? Hmmm? I think I’d like to challenge my own children to do such a thing. I reckon they would love it.

A landmark tree discovered on a country outing

Great idea number 2.  On her blog Everyday artist, Leslie Fehling talks about her 5-5-5 challenge. I absolutely think it is brilliant. Five minutes walking, five minutes drawing and five minutes painting. What a great way to use an activity you might do fairly regularly (walking) and combining it with drawing. I think this kind of activity keeps the walk and the drawing fresh and inspiring. Short and sweet. I understand there are times when extended drawing sessions are a must but sometimes I find students get bogged down under the pressure that a drawing has to be perfect and complete every time. No way. It’s all good practice!

JB and his tree

Great idea number 3. In this blogosphere day and age there is no excuse for not finding a blog that inspires. There are so many people publishing their ideas, experiments and work that surely there is one that will prompt some sketching. How about the Sketchbook challenge or Urban Sketchers . Both of these blogs have inspired me and I know I’ve mentioned the Sketchbook Challenge a number of times. It has made me get my sketchbook out and keep it out. Hooray. The Urban Sketchers are just fascinating. There is even an Australian group. If you love drawing what you see out in the big wide world then I think that group is for you. I get so excited seeing other people expressing there personality through their drawings. Go on, check them out!

iPhone sketch app

Great idea number 4. Join a group on a social networking site such as Flickr. You can check out my photo stream here or just search a topic you like and join the group. There are 6722 groups to be found under the search category of sketching. Even more for sketchbook and still more for the category of drawing. No excuse! And no pressure, just inspiring work. That might just get you drawing, uploading and sharing.

Well, I could keep going! but I think the best idea right now is to save my other great ideas for another post. I think it’s actually time to go put some of the above into practice. I can be a terrible procrastinator…ah but that also is something for another day…

Let’s know what great ideas you have that inspire you to draw. How many of them would translate into a class setting I wonder? I am all for trying.

Until the next time. JP

2 thoughts on “Great ideas to get drawing

  1. Thanks for the mention Jennie! These are fantastic ideas – and I haven’t stopped by Urban Sketchers for a while so I look forward to a few minutes of inspiration there.
    Just to let you know – teachers are my heroes! Thank you for caring about the kids and their future!

    1. So welcome Lyric – I hope I did you justice. I am in admiration of your work. Thank you for inspiring me – hope it was ok to mention you. Thanks for the ‘Teacher’ encouragement.

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