honoriartist (honoriartist) wrote,

Old Master Copies

To experience non-verbal learning by copying old masters.
To learn art historical methods of modeling the figure
To transfer relevant master techniques to contemporary practice

Copies of old master drawings from Learning Anatomy from the Great Masters by Robert Beverly Hale
Vellum paper for tracing
Soft graphite and white pastel pencil

Play one of the Robert Bevely Hale video segments on YouTube for student to see masterful instruction on master techniques
Distribute master drawing copies
Direct student to all copy the same drawing
After set time (20 minutes) exhibit all drawings on the board and discuss the translation of master techniques into the student drawings.  Ask students to determine what to focus on in next drawing.
Repeat for the other 2 drawings.
Save time for some quick life sketches of students posing for each other.
Facilitate comments on what student learned from the great masters.

Student comments
Jack's use of strong lines and varied line quality gives his work a very animated look with a dramatic Gestalt. His range of values is limited in a positive way. Today my work has improved in the relationships of muscles to the overall proportion of the figure which makes it more realistic from an anatomical perspective. "Cheating" from the old masters has given me greater confidence in drawing figures.  - Lisa L

I learned mostly from the masters during the line tracings is relationship of each muscle, in each piece of work the models were in different positions, which called for different value and contrast on each muscle. They also showed chiaroscuro on each object in the work which will help me add depth to my art pieces.   - Randy Q

Teacher Reflections

TIMING: I have never done master copies with my students before but the result was profound. I believe that using the copying lesson after the mid term is important.  It is key to first study basic anatomy and blocking in techniques.  After anatomy and blocking in, student have the foundations to apply what they learn from master copies.  I plan to use this lesson in classes in the future.

CONFIDENCE: The students built their confience during the master copies.  They knew the theory of chiaroscuro and blocking in but had not seen it done at the highest level. They were primed with enough information about drawing to absorb the master level approaches and integrate them into their practice.

NON-VERBAL LEARNING: When I asked in critique what they had learned they were speechless.  I honored the quiet and called their experience "non-verbal learning" and let them meditate on how their drawing changed by copying from the masters.
Tags: anatomy, lesson plan, life drawing, robert beverly hale, teaching

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