Monday, March 13, 2006

Catching up with my Young Rembrandt

Sarah has been busy with her artwork lately, so it's time for another round of--

What's THAT Drawing?

First up today, we have this bit of art work that Sarah did several weeks ago:

This, I hope you can see is a collection of trophies. The artist must learn to compose various shapes and colors into a unified whole--blue ribbons, yellow ribbons, cups, pedestals, what have you. I think the point here is to get kids to plan ahead a little and gauge their usable space to ensure enough paper to accommodate the numerous trophies. (Either that or it teaches the kids something about winning, losing, those that are valuable and those that are not. But . . . I might be reading into that a bit too much.)

This drawing actually was a study in technique, specifically teaching children to learn about the use of what is called "negative space."
By choosing the intersecting branches of several trees as the main compositional item and then leaving the trees white, while coloring the background behind it. The artist makes the background become an important part of the image, allowing it to "pop" towards the foreground.
Of course, Sarah chose to color her trees a vivid blue, thereby weakening the use of negative space and invalidating the entire exercise. Huzzah for individuality, and remember Rembrandt, "You can't tell me what to do!

(For more examples of negative space, please examine this.)

About the time that Sarah was ignoring the concept of negative space, that is about two or three weeks ago, we purchased The Incredibles on DVD. Sarah and Grace have both enjoyed watching the movie and this is Sarah's artistic tribute to the characters.

From left to right we have: (1) Dash, who runs fast (2) Jack Jack, the baby that doesn't do anything "super" until the end of the film (3) Mrs. Incredible, who is very stretchy and was known as ElastaGirl before she married (4) Mr. Incredible, who is all-purpose strong. Finally there is (5) Violet, who is Dash's older sister and can make herself disappear and also project forcefields (pictured).

Sarah's disembodied head lurks at the bottom of the image, serving either as her signature or as a desire to be considered Incredible herself. Another point that I find interesting is that she has placed Mrs. Incredible in the central place of honor in the picture. Would a boy have placed Mr. Incredible first? Does Sarah see Mrs. Incredible as the star of the movie in a way that I can't discern?

The final image was from this past week's class and is another study in artistic technique, specifically perspective. The train is drawn so that it appears to be coming towards the viewer. This is done by enlarging the head of the train engine, especially the cowcatcher and nose and shrinking the back area where the engineer stands.

An important element in this drawing is the grouping of the wheels. Sarah had a bit of trouble with that part of the train, crowding them a bit too much. But, overall, there is a strong sense of perspective.

So, there you have it. Sarah is doing good work and I am proud of her pieces. Whether it ever allows her to be a penniless, hungry artist someday remains to be determined.


In other news, the latest edition of my old Georgia Southern sports column, The Authority Speaks, is now up and available for your viewing enjoyment and/or horror.

Check it out here.


lulu said...

Those drawings are so cool! The train wheels might be viewed as "trouble", but I like them that way. I think the artist was trying to convey a sense of "speed"--the train was traveling so fast, so out of control, that the wheels, in their rushing, got ahead of themselves. It's a great picture. And it reminds me a little of Soul Train.

David said...

Whoa! You're totally right, it does look like the Soul Train.

My daughter's got James Brown in her soul!

Sven Golly said...

And maybe a little Paul Klee. The first one, all muted colors, is full of geometric shapes, lots of different ones, some (soccer ball) tessellated. The second one more abstractly and vividly colorful, especially the way the background colors shift radically. The third one, whoa, is Mrs. I's face really orange, and does violet really project a (violet) forcefield? The fourth one is so happy it can barely contain itself, just look at all that locomotive energy!