honoriartist (honoriartist) wrote,

Big Collaborative Save Yourself Drawing

My class is held in a photography studio. The studio uses large backdrop paper on rolls.  When the paper has been used a few times by the photographers it may get torn or dirty or wrinkled.  The photo students have then bunched it up and stuffed it by the trash.  I requested the photographers leave the large paper for us to draw on, so now, at unexpected times, a VERY LARGE sheet of paper is available to the class! Most of the time the paper is black!

So, during an energy lull or as a quick last burst of energy project I started the
Ride of the Valkyries, Save Yourself, Drawing Panic.

Students drawing on photography backdrop paper May 2010

How: Turn up the music, turn up the drama.  Unroll the large paper. Announce 3 one-minute poses in which the Valkyrie model(s) jump up on the stage and take gesture poses of swooping down menacingly on the students. Students must capture the Valkyrie gestures to save themselves!  Students quickly left their drawing horses, grabbed pastels and worked quickly in a great burst of energy and play!  Yeeee ha!  It was a great finale to the class.
Student Drawings May 2010 Collaborative Student Drawings May 2010
The models used the cardboard roll from the paper as a threatening weapon.

Results:  Students bought into the game right away, not stopping for the perpetual complainers to whine, or the shy to sit out. Students who are more shy and sit off by themselves or who draw smaller, more timid drawings benefited the most because they worked right beside students who have more dramatic, confident styles.  Simultaneous drawing on a large scale helps students see other drawing techniques in action and builds confidence. Collaborative panic drawing also facilitates heightened levels of creative energy.

Next Steps:  I will continue to surprise students with collective activities to support group work, fun in drawing, and spontaneous design and story-telling ideas.

Thank you to my students who are always surprising me. 
It's the least I can do to surprise you back:-)
Tags: life drawing, pastel, teaching

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