Art education is wide ranging and there are many different approaches to it, but at its core is learning to see. The primary and most effective way to learn to see is to draw. This, surely, must be at the beginning of every artist’s career – i.e. the moment, as children, we pick up a pencil, crayon, brush and make a mark with it.
Last week I was working with the Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru on their 2014 Schools Award project. Following a tour of Ystradgynlais with Josef (1911 – 2000) played by actor Adrian Metcalfe and the “Clerk to the District Council” played by Sonia Beck, both from Lighthouse Theatre in Swansea, we ran workshops in drawing. We viewed the Foundation’s collection of Herman’s works in “The Welfare” and referenced a set of images provided by the Tate Museum for our drawing. We used both traditional drawing materials (pencil and charcoal on paper) and iPads. Sketchbook Pro has the facility to record the drawing you do on the iPad and you can see a couple of examples from the children at the bottom of this post.
Sonia invited us all back to the year 1954 when Josef Herman lived and worked in Ystradgynlais (for 11 years). She and Adrian did an excellent job of drawing us into believing that they were the real people which confused some of the children as they knew that he had died in 2000!