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Old 06-26-2014, 02:21 PM
tbelletieri tbelletieri is offline
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Teaching art - basic drawing thru painting

Hi everyone. I am a portrait artist [pets & places mostly] with over 500 commissions in the last 10 years. I work in graphite/charcoal, pen & ink & acrylics. I've been asked to teach drawing & painting fundamentals at the community center of a large [1750 residences & over 3000 residents] local [Bucks County, PA] housing development. They've allocated six weekly, two hour sessions.

As this seems to be a very viable contribution to the cash flow, I am very willing to do it, but I have never taught nothin' to no one! So....

I would appreciate any tips you can offer - particularly in setting up the sessions with a logical transition leading to an acrylic landscape/still life.
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:31 AM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Teaching art - basic drawing thru painting

As an ex High School "Shop teacher" (when they still HAD those things), and a present oil painting teacher, and an ex-college teacher of color theory and application, I think I can at least offer a few pointers.

First, You must break the primary "job" (in this case, a finished painting) down into teachable units, called "operations". An operation is a unit of instruction during which you inform, and demonstrate to the students the "how to" concept of the particular operation, usually encompassing only a few minutes.

As you make plans to demonstrate these operations to your students, take some time prior to teaching to contemplate all the operations required to create this final, art work, and jot each one down, giving it a title, such as "How to Mix Paint on the Palette", "How to Use a Flat Brush to Create a Fine Line", How to Blend Paint on the Canvas", "How to Wash a Brush After a Session", etc., etc.

Stack up all these "operations", arranging them in rank order, with the operation that is used the MOST during the creation of a typical painting at the top, and the one that used LEAST on the bottom. This automatically determines [for you] what operations you should be teaching first, and what operations are less important to teach.

It is the old WWII "Job Analysis" concept here, and it works like a charm, creating a situation in which you will automatically be teaching important things first, and less important things last.

Some prospective teachers like to have pre-made lesson plans by others handed to them, but I've never been able to understand how any teacher could possibly work from someone else's lesson plan. When someone takes your class it is because they generally want to know how YOU do it, and not how anyone ELSE may do it.

Create your own lesson plan for each session, providing handouts, demonstrations, lecture, and whatever it takes to get whatever points you feel are important to the "job" involved across to your students. Beginning students want, and need to be "shown HOW" to do the operations of drawing, and painting, and with some simple planning you should easily be capable of providing such instruction.

Just from my experience.
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Last edited by WFMartin : 08-03-2014 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:24 PM
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loobyteacher loobyteacher is offline
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Re: Teaching art - basic drawing thru painting

I agree with the advise given. I teach HS art classes. It would be important first and foremost to break up what you can do in 6 weeks to complete a project. Then break the lesson into the 6 units and what you can squeeze in during that time. You will find a variety of levels of experience. Those that have no talent will want results just like the rest of them, but you can't move too slowly because others will get bored. Proportion will be a major issue, or you may want to have them work from a grid. Hope this helps.
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