By Paula Briggs
Each week during the AccessArt Art lab for ages 11, 12, and 13 at Wysing Arts Centre, students will be working in their sketchbooks undertaking a five or ten minute exercise.
The sketchbooks have been kindly donated by Pink Pig International and as well as filling them with the drawing exercises, children are also encouraged to use the books to help explore ideas related to the main session. Creating sketchbook content like this which is a mixture of exercises and personal study should help fuel creativity and ownership.
I chose parsnips as a subject matter which was suitable for this activity as they have a familar sculptural form and a surface containing contour lines.
I challenged the children to take five minutes to draw a parsnip, using the straight line of a lolly stick. I showed them how curves could be created using a number of carefully placed small, straight lines. In particular I asked them to explore:
- Using two pencils: one soft (6B), one hard (H). Both pencils should be sharp.
- Explore how the different pencils create different qualities of line, and use these lines appropriately.
- Explore how much pressure you apply; see how dark and light you can make your lines.
- Work quickly, moving your lolly stick across the drawing and altering the angle where necessary.
- Use a combination of short, medium and long lines.
- Spend 50% of your time looking at the parsnip and 50% looking at the drawing.
- Squint at the parsnip (and your drawing) to help you see the dark darks.
- Remember the greater variety of marks you can use in your drawing the more interesting it will become.