literate is no less important than being literate in the reading and writing
sense. In fact, some may ever agree that 'drawing' should be studied alongside
reading and writing. Why? Because before you can write you must learn to draw circles
and squares, at least; otherwise how will we make a '3' or '7' ... and
'S' or an 'Z'?
does someone become visually literate?
1. Passive By learning to recognize
things in three dimensions, also learning to read maps and plans etc. in two dimeisions.
Learning about line, texture, shape and pattern.
2. Active By learning to draw just as a writer would learn to compose
can best be understood in the absence of language... and its effect can
be quite potent. A test might be... 'Using the quickest, simplest drawing and the minimum number of lines you can imagine, draw as economically as you can any of the things on the following list:
|A house, caravan, dartboard, pineapple, road, a railway line, a fish a snake, an apple and a pear, a ship, boat, submarine, shark, martini, basketball, helmet, a pair of scissors, sword, spear, banana, cucumber, church, fruit tree, bunch of grapes, traffic lights, ladder, television antenna, lightbulb, scooter, mammoth, the road from your house to the nearest store, comb, fork, paperclip, saucepan, leaf, an anchor, shoe, yoyo, and a button etc.
AGE LIMITS: These tests could be given to children
as young as five and adults as old as eighty and the results may well
determine their 'active visual literacy'. There may somtimes also be little
difference in the results. I would test for speed and inventiveness
just as a you might judge some prose thus. Bear in mind the teacher need not
be Leonardo or Rubens to satisfactorily judge the results!
this active and passive division little further. In what is 'art' today
we have the visually semi-literate - in the 'active' sense; they may however, be quite visually literate in the passive sense. Should they be called 'artists' - and would we be as ready to embrace people who called themselves writers if they attempted to write of their experiences neglecting any structure? I don't think so; and some of my own writing proves just that!
Is any of
this important to the human species? The children I tested seemed
to think so.... maybe such tests need to be given to some of our national art critics...
I made a comment once ... when we talk of educating our children in 'the
basics' we should mean the basics of reading, drawing, writing ... and perhaps maths; but then I may be a little biased.
every art class with 'OK children, open your sketch pads and do two quick
sketches; a coconut and a saw. You have three minutes.....
then we will be finishing off the drawing we started last week.
is exactly what we shall now be doing wilth our drawing course.
Lessons separated into approx 40 min segments.
- 10 to 20 minutes per lesson - set work proposals suggested at end of
30x45cms or 12"x18" standard cartridge
paper (thick, white, plain) sketchpad.
2H, HB and 4B pencils
General lesson structure;
5 min. short drawing test (3min. for test 2min
hold up and look at results)
5 min. revision and homework assessment.
5 min new page, draw margin and add title (bottom
20 min demo and child practical drawing
5min summary and suggested homework.
TO ... FIRST LESSON