Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Drawing with Charcoal

Today, I introduced the Drawing 1 students to the messy, but forgiving, medium of charcoal.  I have this gigantic, white ball (on the right side of the image) that we use for shading.  This is the third time the students have had to draw this ball.  They first drew it when we started shading in graphite and then again when they learned about shading with ink.  They love the ball.  Kidding.  Mostly I get 'the ball...again?'.  Yep.  Again.  I started the way I always start.  Students get their own tin (once upon a time in Photography, I use to get 100ft rolls of film and roll film for students...it was awful, but the tins are great for drawing material storage), I hand out vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, a pink eraser, a kneaded eraser, a blending stump, and tissue for blending.  We discuss the materials and how they are used.  I start by showing them how to tone the paper, sketch with the vine charcoal, and then eventually use the compressed charcoal to add value.  I did something a little different today.  When the students thought they were finished, I had them hang their drawings on the wall and step back.  By stepping back, students are able to easily see areas that need more attention.  I talked with each student individually about what they still need to work on.  Students even gave each other feedback about areas to work on.  Most students knew exactly what they needed to work on as soon as they saw the drawing hanging on the wall.  Students then took the drawings and continued to work on them a little more, trying to perfect the drawing as much as they could.  It was a little chaotic, but it was awesome formative assessment.  This is a one day project and tomorrow students will start a white object still life in charcoal.