Wednesday, October 15, 2008

If I Can't Do It...

This is always a valuable lesson for teachers.

Never ask your students to do what you can't yourself do.

In other words, try each assignment out before you assign it. How long does it take you? What aspects of it are harder than you thought they would be? I discovered this when I was making my Golden Calf out of beeswax. It took me forever! And if I hadn't been an adult I would have given up on it without thinking twice. Now I know that it takes more time and more patience than I can reasonably expect from my class. Today I am sketching a cow. Easy? Not so much, no. First I tried watercolor pencils on wet paper but I forgot (somehow) and began to outline. My kidney was way too long and there was no way it could become a cow. So I kept it as an example for my students of how outlining you boxes you into failure and growing shapes organically from the center outward gives you much more flexibility to adapt to problems as they arise. Second try: watercolor pencils on dry paper. I put on the legs too soon and when I went back to make my animal thicker (it looked quite like a sheep, nothing at all like a cow) I needed then to make it longer to keep the proportions because I made it too thick... and I couldn't make it longer because the legs were already in place. Scratch try #2. Now I am going to attempt it with the block beeswax crayons because I think the pencils are making me focus too much on detail. The last illus. I did of Moses striking the rock with his staff was in pastel chalks and it was lovely. This one is giving me FITS!

A calf to look at helps, too. I am looking at an adult cow and I think that is going to be a problem. Calf pictures:

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