Teaching Children to See Shapes Objectively by Hester Berry

By Hester Berry

This resource is one of four resources created by painter Hester Berry which aim to introduce some basic drawing and painting concepts to primary-aged children and their teachers. See all the resources in this series here.

In this resource, painter Hester Berry shares how to teach children to look objectively at the world and to break down familiar objects into shapes which they can then use in their drawing and painting. It also shares measuring techniques which children can use to help themselves see relationships and ratios.

1.  Shapes

When you’re learning to draw or paint, getting an accurate representation can be tricky. The best way to do this, I have found, is to try to disconnect yourself from the familiar objects in front of you, and to see the world as a series of shapes.

So for example, if you are painting a banana, you wouldn’t make any assumptions about what’s inside it, or what it looks like on the other side, or why it’s yellow. You would just see a crescent in front of you, yellowy coloured, darker on one side perhaps, maybe with flat ends, rather than pointy. Maybe one end is higher up, maybe there’s a dark patch on the table underneath the crescent shaped thing.

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