Friday, November 26, 2010

James McMullin Drawing Series

.....................................New York Time - October 2010

A Gazillion years ago, I studied illustration at the School for Visual Art (SVA) in Manhattan. I was fortunate to have James McMullan, one of the world's foremost illustrators, as one of my instructors. Mr. McMullan was a good teacher and provided inspiration by dint of his excellence as an artist.

I just came across this good series he did for the NY Times on how to draw. There are a gazillion (there's that number again) books and video series on how to draw, and they all include the same concepts more or less. However, it is great to see a talented artist and teacher put his own personal spin, his own thumbprint on what otherwise could be cliched. Here are the links to the first 11 of the 12 installments of this series (below).

I add this to the blog because it reminds me of the way I used to teach the very same concepts to middle school students (a gazillion years ago:) when I taught in New York City public schools like The East Harlem Performing Arts School. I was not willing to skirt the very thorny issue of teaching kids to draw "for real." Although anyone can learn to draw, the process requires so much time and patience, so much tolerance and self discipline in handling the frustration, that teaching young students the classical approach to drawing is simply not done! That, and perhaps, that many public school art teachers are not all that masterful in their drawing abilities, themselves :) I chose to walk this perilous minefield for a good few years before I moved on to become the city's Director of Intructional Technology (it's a long story :)...

I distilled the best of my drawing lessons and adapted them to take advantage of the power of technology so that literally, any kid could learn to draw and draw without pain. A few of these appear in the book
Visual Arts Units / All Levels published by ISTE (international Society for Technology in Education).

McMullan links:
1)Getting Back to the Phantom Skill
2) The Frisbee of Art
3) Hatching the Pot
4) The Beagle Vanishes
5) Mother Nature Decoded
6) The Shadow Knows
7) The Three Amigos
8) Plumbing the Head
9) Drawing Funny
10) The Chain of Energy
11) Strategies to Get You There