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Drawing With Children: Completed

Last night, I finally finished working through the book "Drawing With Children." After having completed her program, I'll say that I found it to be very good, and the exercises were fun for me and I think most children would enjoy them, too. Connor did lose interest about two-thirds of the way through; he doesn't like copying things, or following step-by-step instructions; he'd rather do his own thing. Still, I think he learned some things, and I'm sure I did, too. I would recommend the book, especially to teachers and parents who want to do artwork with children.

Let's see. Last time I posted, we were drawing from graphics. I posted the dragons that I did; here's the one that Connor did. This is a will o' the wisp, based on a drawing in "Arthur Spiderwick's Guide to the Fantastical World Around You." (Which is a gorgeous book, btw).

Will o'the Wisp

One of the exercises in this section asked us to compose our own drawing of tropical birds, choosing from a bunch of tropical birds pictured in the book. The author also gave step-by-step instructions for drawing the parrot. Connor didn't want to do this exercise. I wasn't too enthused about it, either, but I did a couple of versions. This was the best; the composition isn't wonderful, but the birds are colorful and not *too* ugly. :D

Tropical Birds

The next section was about drawing still life. Connor drew a lovely mortar and pestle (which I don't have handy, so it won't be pictured here). I drew the still life suggested by gwendolyngrace: my computer desk. I didn't like the way it turned out, though, so I'm not going to bother scanning it. (If you're interested, though, Gwen, I'll show it to you when you're here next month). :)

Next, we tackled volume drawing: putting objects into space without outlining the edges. Again, Connor wanted nothing to do with these exercises, although I enjoyed them. The first was to get a feel for positive and negative space. The samples in the book were reversed from the way I've drawn them here: the white parts were black, and the black parts were white. Sorry for the craptastic webcam photos; I didn't feel like these were worthy of taking the time to scan, so I just snapped some quick shots:

Positive/negative space exercise

We then had an exercise on shading. I really enjoyed this one; shading is something I enjoy, and would like to improve:

Shading exercise

After the smaller exercises, there was a more challenging one: to draw some lilies using this technique. No outlines, just volume drawing. This is another one where the author included a drawing to be copied. Her version was black, white and gray, so we were supposed to choose our own color scheme. Even though there aren't really lilies this color (AFAIK), I decided to do purple. I liked the way this turned out, even though I messed up one of the petals. Still, I think it's pretty. I think I'd like to do more flowers, and play around with this technique. Basically, you just look for the light source, and see how it highlights some areas and casts shadows on others. This is one of the things I tried to do in the "Blues" drawing I posted earlier today.

Lily

Finally, the author has a section on working in other media, and a bunch of information about drawing people. I did a quick sketch of Connor using the "tube and circles" technique, and I also decided to try a self-portrait. I'm not thrilled with this, mostly because it doesn't look at all like me (although I think it might look a bit like my grandmother when she was younger). I drew this while looking in the mirror, and I think I ran into trouble because I didn't always manage to turn my head to exactly the same angle, which accounts for the wonky proportions. Still, it's recognizable as a person. :D I like the one I did this morning about a thousand times better, though:

Self Portrait

So, that's the end of my work with "Drawing With Children." Next, I'm going to start "Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain." Connor says he wants to work through that book with me, too. Maybe he'll like it better since it's written for adults. (He's kind of on this kick lately about wanting to be "mature" and not do kid things, like order from children's menus or read books called "Drawing With Children." :D). I think many of the exercises are actually pretty similar to things we've done with this book, but I'm looking forward to the new stuff, too. I'll probably post my progress with that book once I get started. I haven't given up on the Garden Alphabet, either. More on that soon.
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