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Tricks and shortcuts. A new approach to teaching drawing
Personal Development
  • Feb 14, 2021
  • 2 minutes

Tricks and shortcuts. A new approach to teaching drawing

I worked as a teacher of painting at Moscow Pedagogical University, as a teacher of clastic anatomy at School-Studio of Moscow Art Theatre, worked as a drawing teacher at British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow. Mostly the teaching methods used there were traditional enough: students have had to spend years to get step by step closer to their goal.

Later on, I moved to Barcelona and a new challenge appeared when I started sketching workshops for tourists. The idea was to sketch the architectural landmarks of the city, including such a complex building as Sagrada Familia. But my students mostly were people with zero or close to zero drawing skills. How to make everyone draw nice-looking sketches from the first lesson?

As a teacher, I have always aimed at creating methods that would allow teaching effectively drawing and painting to any person regardless of skills. And I have had experience in creating short-term courses, workshops, etc. But with sketching workshops for tourists, the task was harder.

The solution came with practice. 

The crucial points in the sketching process are the ability to draw horizontal and vertical straight lines and measuring proportions skills.

For beginners to draw a straight line is a really hard task. But we can use an edge of our sketchbook like a ruler. We put the base of our palm close to the edge of a sketchbook and move the hand along the edge not moving the pencil by fingers. This skill easily obtainable in five minutes gave me the opportunity to overcome strait line problem.

And how to measure proportions if you are drawing first time in your life? Artists use the pencil method. It works like this: we hold a pencil in such a way that its free end is visually aligned with one edge of the measured object, and we mark the other edge of this object with our thumb. This method is, of course, not very convenient. It is not easy to hold in your mind the mark to align with it the tip of the pencil. And if you need to fit many times the smaller dimension into the larger one, the probability of errors increases noticeably.

Once, when I was preparing for the workshop, I made the grid over my sketch to make more visible all the proportions of the building. And it helped me to invent a tool to measure proportions. It consists of a grid on a transparent base. This tool saves your time and effort in the process of creating any drawings from life. It helps to compare the vertical and horizontal proportions at the same time! You change the scale of measurements by moving your gridded device closer to the eyes or further. In this manner was solved the problem with proportions measuring.

Now you can find on Grinfer my complete course "Landscape Sketching, Tips and Tricks" with all the tricks, tips, and shortcuts. This course made me start series of courses where I use my new approach to teaching drawing. In one word I replace hard obtainable skills with easy tools and tricks. It gives students the possibility to concentrate on the goal and reach this goal without extra work with minimal errors.

$20 per hour
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