Is Drawing Dead?

Do you teach basic drawing skills?  Drawing 1

In February 2012 the always creative and occasionally provocative Jayson Paterson started a thread on the OCC forum entitled “Is Drawing Dead?” Since then there have been 16 replies and more than 360 views.

Jayson explains “I want to emphasise again that I am not suggesting that drawing is dead in this discussion thread, but wanting to open up discussion as to what has been added to an artist’s basic toolbox in this 21st Century as necessary skills or a replacement to conventional drawing as either an end in itself, or a way to develop ideas for work in another form”.

Without wishing to state the obvious, here are three observations about DRAWING:

1. A drawing does not have to be made in pencil. My students all draw (and paint) with a range of iPad apps. In the last examination session one student uploaded her iPad paintings as part of the final examination/digital submission. (She achieved a grade 7). Drawing can occur in a variety of media. “Candidates should also be taught the techniques for a variety of traditional and contemporary art making tools and media”.Drawing 2

2. Drawing is also not just about working from observation and nor is it necessarily about a ‘final’ piece. The ability to draw (or paint) what you are looking at is one thing – and yes, great observational drawings and paintings are an obvious reflection of that ability – but drawing can be much more than that. It can be part of a learning and experimental process. It’s a way of critical thinking and it leaves a record – it documents that process of thinking. “In learning to draw, candidates develop confidence, inventiveness, and a way to think in visual terms, as well as a way to document experience and develop ideas”.

3. Drawing is just one tool in your (and your students’) creative and expressive tool box. “Too many candidates are still directing themselves and not being supported to reach their full potential or being encouraged to successfully develop skills and through experimentation and manipulation of a variety of art making forms. Exploring a wide range of media early in the course will allow candidates the opportunity to try different approaches to the work when they have more independence during their second year”.

All the quotes come from the latest Visual Arts Subject Report (May 2013). Read it!

“Teach the course: more time teaching basic drawing and compositional skills is needed as a foundation for creativity. In learning to draw, candidates develop confidence, inventiveness, and a way to think in visual terms, as well as a way to document experience and develop ideas. Candidates should also be taught the techniques for a variety of traditional and contemporary art making tools and media.

Too many candidates are still directing themselves and not being supported to reach their full potential or being encouraged to successfully develop skills and through experimentation and manipulation of a variety of art making forms.

Exploring a wide range of media early in the course will allow candidates the opportunity to try different approaches to the work when they have more independence during their second year.”

Images

 

Drawings are mine

2 Comments
  • Linda Willms
    March 28, 2014

    To me as well it looks like some students exhibiting work after two years in the course are still a little lost when it comes to understanding composition. I am new to the DP but have seen student exhibitions. I have been teaching MYP visual arts for six years now. We enrol our first DP class in August. I would like to know now much teaching and guidance is recommended. Can a student mention in their Visual Arts Journal or their Process Portfolio “my teacher suggested I ….., or my friend suggested I ….How is feedback given to students. I always think it is helpful for students to have some of it in writing. I do encourage students to document feedback they receive. I do write comments in pencil in MYP Developmental Workbooks…. is this an acceptable thing to do in the DP?

    • Andrew Vaughan
      April 5, 2014

      Hey Linda,
      Thanks for the feedback.
      OK, on to your 2 questions – it’s a yes for question 1 and a no for question 2 – but this is me extrapolating from the guide. (It’s not official)

      “Can a student mention in their Visual Arts Journal or their Process Portfolio “my teacher suggested I ….., or my friend suggested I ….”
      Yes, I think we are looking for the authenticity in the student work, so students should source their inspirations and if these come from teachers or peers, they should be mentioned. I don’t have a copy of the guide to hand but I think we mention what teacher input should be in the Process Portfolio outline- under ‘the role of the teacher’, and students should evidence where guidance comes from.

      “I do write comments in pencil in MYP Developmental Workbooks…. is this an acceptable thing to do in the DP?”
      My hunch is that this information is not relevant to the assessment process, particularly as the criteria are not concerned with growth. So no, we wouldn’t expect to see teacher comments.

      If I hear different I will update this reply.
      Cheers

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