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April 22nd, 2018, 4:05 am

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Reply skyangel, April 22nd, 2018, 4:09 am

I've been asked by a teacher friend of mine this week if I would give some kind of art lesson to the children in her class. At first I was quite excited about the idea as it sounds fun and I'll get paid for it but having thought about it more I must admit I feel rather lost on how or what to do with them.
I learnt art through a process of studying the objects I've had the desire to copy and then progressed to trying harder to capture the character of that object, or how it affects me emotionally. This to me seems like the best and only rule you ever need to follow. From my earliest pleasures of defacing books by drawing on the end papers or going over beautiful b+w illustrations with my crayons I've always gone where the fun is and not the science. To this day I still glaze over when people start talking about colour wheels and complimentary colours etc. I used to read books talking about using brushes on Bristol board yet found ink pens on copier paper perfectly suitable for my needs. I love to learn new things but at my own pace and in my own direction which is now why the art above is a combination of pencil drawing, over inked, and then scanned in and worked on as a digital image. Each stage feels flexible enough to allow me to play around but change my mind if I'm not happy enough (like with the music notes here) but more importantly it does feel like fun and not a science. From what I've observed of other artists, we all have our own routines and methods for making our art and that's such an individual thing that I'd feel very arrogant saying to anyone, especially a child, ‘That’s wrong, you should do it like this.'
I don't think there is ever really a wrong on the outside, it's the way your art makes you feel on the inside that counts.

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User's Comments:

Reply Linn, April 22nd, 2018, 6:35 am

I think do it, take the chance to do an art class! I mean, I get the thing with wanting not to 'direct' people how they should do art.
Especially with kids since they're not used to being directed when it comes to creativity. Often they're supposed to explore.
But its why if you offer them some insight in how they can explore, you can inspire them to get even more motivated with their art.
My boyfriend taught a comic class at a school and they created a comic character together, and i think they all made tiny comics.
There's alot of fun things you can do with a class, without having to be telling them what they're doing is wrong. You can give tips, motivation and inspiration. In a comic workshop I attended this spring we got a character-sheet to answer 8 questions in order to design/establish a character for a comic.

If you want to I can send it to you, if you want to use it for your class :)!

As for the comic today: Really beautiful drawings, and i like where this is going... I think.

Reply skyangel, April 28th, 2018, 7:15 am

@Linn: Thanks Linn that's really kind of you. Things have backtracked a little bit now as I discussed the idea with her again during the week and she said she was thinking more of me coming in and just doing 'a picture' in front of them while they watched. When I said what sort of picture, she suggested an animal. So now I feel like I'm going to be standing there beating myself up over my art publicly instead of my normal practice of doing it in private!
I would really much more love to do a comic making class as I think they would enjoy that. I just have to convince the teacher.

Reply AndyB (Guest), April 22nd, 2018, 8:01 am

And I recognise the music - Beethoven’s Für Elise!

Reply skyangel, April 28th, 2018, 7:17 am

@AndyB: Haha Wow, how the hell did you do that? I fragmented the tune as well to make it look more artistic so that's amazing.

Reply lizettekrist, April 22nd, 2018, 2:00 pm

I think simply telling kids that your process is the way it is and other people do art differently can make a big difference. I know it did for me when someone first told me that.

Reply skyangel, April 28th, 2018, 7:20 am

@lizettekrist: Absolutely! Nothing annoys me more than hearing someone tell another how they should do their art. Asking advice is one thing but I would always start my reply with, 'What I would normally do...', rather than. 'What you should do...'

Reply ohanyname!, April 22nd, 2018, 2:31 pm

@skyangel: I have had a total of one (1) art lesson in my entire life, and that put me off drawing (I got my hand hit with a ruler because I was using my left hand - yes, this still happens in American schools; thank you for putting me off any visual subject for years).

My drawing - I wouldn't call it art - is more akin to xkcd than Simply Sarah because I only started drawing again in my 30s. I use bristol board and a light box, indian ink and a brush. Recently I've bought a Wacom tablet - the cheapest one - and I found transitioning was really no problem at all. For doing eyes and hands it still has to be a brush. I don't even attempt to do hair the way you do. It must take ages!

Oh and Arienna had quite a comprehensive 'how to draw webcomics' guide at . I can't find it immediately,you might want to drop her a line - as the site hasn't been updated in six years, it doesn't conform to the latest web standards, which is probably why I can't find the lessons. This webcomic is sadly defunct because she decided to give up waitressing and webcomics and took a degree in Civil Engineering - quite a major career change! Her lessons are specifically about drawing and inking ligne claire, but you might find them a useful start to model your own course notes around.

And (again) if you decide to take the job, left-handers do not, as you'd expect, work right to left, we work (usually) top-to-bottom, although some people work bottom-to-top (even within one family - I am ttb so are my twins, my sister is btt). So, we're not 180 degrees away from righties, we're either 90 degrees or 270 degrees. You will also find that lefty kids absorb information quicker and better if it presented visuo-spatially rather than verbally - don't tell her, show her. [This is why so many lefties go in for arts (da Vinci) sciences (Einstein and just about every physicist ever) and politics (Kennedy, Bushes, Clinton, Obama)].

Kids these days are taught to write btt, they sit back in a relaxed posture with the writing material on the lap, so of course that is the way they are going to draw and ink. Any job that involves a lot of writing is going to cause agonising back pain in the late 20s if you write left-to-right - as I know only too well. Amazingly, some British schools still don't teach lefties how to write.

This means most lefties of the younger generations write btt but draw ttb. This is because writing isn't drawing. Your eye naturally hits the top of the page, not the bottom.

If you take the job, please think of the 13% of boys and 11% of girls who 1) will understand you a lot better if you show, not say - use your hands and your eyes, not your mouth and your ears, get them to draw their question, not say it and 2) have a different view of the world, much more about sight and sound than words and symbols. 2) means they will probably be your most rewarding pupils.

Reply skyangel, April 28th, 2018, 7:25 am

@ohanyname!: Thanks for that link, it looks very informative. That lesson with the ruler is just the sort of thing that makes me despise the whole idea of teaching anything! lol I've decided I'd rather let the idea go unless she can convince me I'd be doing something worthwhile. If they were teenagers I think we could do something mutually exciting worth investing in but at such a young age I feel just having fun is way more important.

Reply ohanyname!, April 22nd, 2018, 4:59 pm

'I used to read books talking about using brushes on Bristol board yet found ink pens on copier paper perfectly suitable for my needs.'

Bristol board has the advantage that if you make a mistake you can usually scrape it off. And it's not expensive.

Because I'm left-handed I don't really have a choice, it has to be a brush. Los Bros Hernandez (they publish on paper, not on the internet) are, unsurprisingly, brothers, Xaime is left handed and uses a brush, Gilberto is right handed and uses a pen. This is not an invariable rule.

The comic has run since 1982.

Xaime used to do shading but has mostly gone ligne claire. Umm, do you get the idea I really like ligne claire?

Their comics (started in 1982) are not all happy stuff. They deal with gang violence, abusive relationships, and racial abuse.

As my kids are mixed-race, they can really relate to this stuff. They put up with this every day.

If you are up the A1 any time, I'll give you a heavy box full of Love and Rockets. I am just off the A1. If you don't return them, I will infect your pubic hairs with fleas, crab lice, and bubonic plague.

The girl pictured on the website is Carmen. She's mixed race. That's what my twins look like. South American girls grow up early.

You might like that the protagonists of Love and Rockets are lesbians. Esperancita (Hopey) and Maggie.

One of my daughters has a South American Indian name,Tonantzin, it means Earth Mother Goddess. This is actually from a Love and Rockets comic. She really loves her unique name.

Reply kidcthulhu, April 23rd, 2018, 11:30 am

I like how the art on this page doesn't even need the narration. Very well executed!

I don't have the patience to teach an art class. I'm a good mentor for enthusiastic pupils. I really don't connect well with children unless they were like I was at that age (which considering what a strange child I was/am, there's not many who fall within those parameters). Generally speaking, get the kids the hell away from me!

Reply skyangel, April 28th, 2018, 7:34 am

@kidcthulhu: Funnily enough I was thinking to myself that someone like you would probably give an ideal class for 7-11's because you would be showing them how to focus on simplifying complicated objects. I wonder how well I would relate to a whole class too. I'm okay with one or two but a whole class feels a bit scary!

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