Demonstration drawings and paintings are not usually a person’s best work. They are performed upside down, or held up in one arm, facing the audience rather than the artist. But, maybe it is better if the instructor’s work leaves something to be desired so the students don’t feel their work has to be perfect. After all, for the student a class is about taking in someone else’s knowledge and technique, not about expressing personal style.
These are the demonstration drawings for the Grade 5 bird assignment. They aren’t finished: there isn’t time in the hour long class. They are quite rough and inexact, mostly relying on scribbled suggestion to show feathers, down or grass. Which is exactly what the kids were supposed to see. Kids have trouble scribbling because you aren’t supposed to scribble. Then we smudged. You aren’t supposed to do that either, if you can help it. Artists just break all the rules! Your signature is supposed to be in the upper right hand corner! Not on your artwork 🙂
You can see that shading and smudging techniques were demonstrated up in the corner. Perhaps it isn’t the best impression to leave: my drawing isn’t a valuable thing. The kids usually don’t question that though. Maybe they remember the lesson if it surprises them. Sometimes I draw on the table too 😉 And I wipe my brushes on my pant leg 😉 Art is supposed to be loose and free and enjoyable! Already in Grade Four, kids have to be reminded not to be so serious. They stiffen up and try to force perfection. They already know who is the best artist in class and believe there is either natural talent or there is not.
If only people could be caught before they petrify. Hopefully these kids, with the amazing opportunity to explore drawing, painting, sculpting and fibre arts, are excited, impressed and inspired by what they produce. The demo as it looks on paper will be forgotten in an hour. The experience, the feeling of creating, and their own results may be remembered for a lifetime. Art does that to people 🙂