Friday, May 10, 2019

Favorite Drawing Books for the Zoology & Botany Blocks

Some more detail on Waldorf philosophy and recommended art resources:

Zoology is done in Waldorf with children ages 9-10 and this is an interesting age for drawing instruction. In first grade students paint color stories. Painting forms doesn't begin until third grade with the Creation stories. So, in the second grade Fables block, you can also choose to paint the Fables as color stories instead of trying for realism in the animals portrayed.

Dick Bruin and Attie Lichthart's new book Painting at School talks about the Fables block in Part 3, Chapter 3, "Painting in Second Grade: Opposites."

    from Complementary Colors (pp.108-109)

    "In second grade we continue to explore color moods. The moods are more extensively expressed in the subject matter for this grade, which is full of great polarities. The fables and saints' legends are all about virtues and vices.

    Character traits are described concisely and powerfully in the fables. The animals have brief adventures, in which two opposite types often meet: wolf and sheep, bear and fox, fox and raven, and so on, accentuating their differences. Each animal thinks, speaks and acts according to its own nature. Thus, animals that are sly and naive, silly and clever, industrious and lazy all meet each other.

    In color theory we speak of complementary colors. Goethe calls these strongly contrasting colors 'harmonious': red-green, blue-orange, yellow-purple. Each of the three primary colors is represented in one of the combinations: blue opposite yellow-red, and so forth."

    from The Legends (p.111)

    "To keep the children from painting a representation of the story instead of a color conversation, it is recommended that the painting exercises be done a number of weeks after the story is told. Bit by bit, both teachers and students must recreate the story so they can once again visualize the motif. If the teacher only says something like, 'Today we are going to paint this and that; I'm sure you remember because I told you the story not too long ago,' the children will be left to their own devices and lose themselves in the eternal aspects of the story....

    'If we want to paint this meeting, what colors should we pick? Which one would you choose...? And what about you? Why? Good, you take that color and you try your color. And now the wolf. Who has chosen a color for the wolf?'

    Thus the class lets the colors appear as if by magic. Each child chooses a color combination; surprisingly enough, the majority chooses the same combination. However, those who have chosen a different combination are like icing on the cake; when the paintings are put up the next day, these examples encourage more discussion and exchange of ideas."

Dennis Klocek's wonderful Drawing from the Book of Nature also talks in detail about art and child development in chapter 1, "Crossing the Rubicon."

    from page 1

    At the age of ten or eleven most children reach an inner Rubicon in the realm of perception. Ask any child of seven to draw a picture of a horse running in a field, and he will respond directly with a picture brought out of the inner life of feelings and sensations. Three years later the same child will fret and fuss over a drawing which needs to correspond accurately to a living horse in order to be worthwhile....

    This barrier of self-criticism can be overcome by anyone willing to take the time to observe accurately and keep the hand practiced in the actual activity of drawing. Ideally, drawing can connect our hands with our eyes by making use of our mind. In a seven-year-old child, the pure force of life is so strong that the feelings that are aroused in the mind are accurate reflections of an inwardly perceived reality. As the thinking begins to develop, these pure life forces are weakened and diverted into the activity of forming pictures and images. It is not enough for the ten-year-old's inwardly experienced images simply to spill out on the paper in creative abandon. The ten-year-old requires that the inner images have a more truthful relationship to the outer perception. The child feels the need to order the chaos of inner pictures into significant wholes that can be compared to the sense-perceptible world in a positive light. The drawing must resemble the outer surfaces of the objects in the world, it must retain the outer proportions and relationships, the exact play of light and shade. In seeking to depict more accurately the images of the world, the artistic soul of the ten-year-old has taken a strong turn towards science. This shift is the first light of what will become the dawning of the intellect.

So, here we are with the Zoology & Botany blocks. How do you help a child (who hasn't had many years of drawing forms with a great amount of detail) develop the skills to draw the animal and plant illustrations that are expected in these MLBs? These are the books that I think teach it best.

Zoology: Drawing Simple Animal Forms, Drawing from the Book of Nature

Botany: Drawing from the Book of Nature, New Eyes for Plants

If you can only get one book, you should get Klocek's since it covers both of these blocks. But ideally you'd be happiest with all three. New Eyes for Plants is outstanding and I can't wait to use it when I teach Botany next time! Since we are in Zoology right now, I'll list the animals covered in each:

Drawing Simple Animal Forms (also includes pig, horse, and zebra)

    Fish - tuna

    Reptiles - turtle

    Birds - duckling, sparrow or wren, crow, pigeon, great blue heron, stork, owl


      Rodents - beaver, squirrel, mouse
      Carnivores - bear, wolf or fox, male lion, female lion
      Ruminants - mule deer, goat, sheep, elephant

Drawing from the Book of Nature

    Marine & Terrestrial Invertebrates

      p.13 - butterfly or moth
      p.20 - grasshopper or cricket
      p. 24 - horsehoe crab
      p.26 - snail
      p.28 - dragonfly
      p.32 - ant, wasp (including egg, soldier, queen)
      p.33 - kaydid, grasshopper, praying mantis
      p.34 - butterfly (including egg, larva, pupa, adult)
      p.37 - earthworm
      p.38 - jellyfish
      p.41 - snail, slug
      p.43 - squid
      p.45 - mussel
      p.46 - honeybee workers and queen
      p.48 - beetle
      p.50 - ants milking aphids
      p.51 - wasp eggs on a caterpillar, mud dauber wasp
      p.52 - hornet and papery nest
      pp.53-59 - the honeybee


      p.28 - polliwogs
      p.16 - migrating birds
      p.62 - dove, puffin
      p.65 - wren
      p.70 - duck
      p.72 - bald eagle
      p.73 - owl

    Klocek writes in his introduction to the Ungulates on page 75,
    "The ungulates are the animals which have hooves and accentuate the activity of the limbs. Included in the ungulates are most of the animals found on the farm as beasts of burden, work animals, food sources, and manure producers. The body of the ungulate is penetrated through and through with the forces of the will and the metabolism. These animals are grazers and browsers that rely mostly upon plant food. Within the basic metabolic life gesture of the ungulates it is possible to recognize those that are more nervous in their constitution. These, like the deer and goat, are hoofed animals but have a mouse-like nervousness. The cow and bison are ungulates that exhibit to perfection the strong-willed metabolism that is the mark of the ungulates in general. The middle group is represented by the pig, an animal whose metabolic traits have been balanced by its intelligence. It is a grazing animal with hooves which also is a meat eater and has a mouthful of teeth that resenmble the dentition of a dog. The pig's balanced metabolic tendencies and its nerve/sense perceptual life place it in the central carnivorous place among the hoofed animals.

    In our second Zoology block we have sorted animals out into Nervous System (birds and rodents), Cardiovascular System (carnivores), and Metabolic system (ruminants). These are the traditional Waldorf divisions. It is interesting that he sees qualities within the Ungulates to further sub-divide them into these same distinct categories!


      p.77 - cow
      p.80 - deer
      p.82 - pig
      pp.83, 85-87 - horse


      pp.85, 90-91 - dog
      p.94 - lion
      pp.96-97 - domestic cat

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anndelise said...

Do you happen to know where I can get “Drawing Simple Animal Forms” other than the live-education site? They don't sell it separately from the rest of the year's program.

Anonymous said...

Sorry… no. There used to be Yahoo groups where people resold used Live Ed books. Yahoo shut all their groups down. I don’t know if FB groups sprang up? Or eBay? It may be that people who have that book guard it jealously and don’t put it up for sale.