I recently completed a figure drawing lesson with each of my second grade classes, including my inclusion and Early Up groups. The children did a fabulous job, and I was tremendously excited by the results.
On Day One of the lesson, we talked about basic body proportion. To emphasize and demonstrate, I asked a student to lay on a long sheet of bulletin board paper. After tracing their body, I hung the large drawing on the board. Using a Manikin, I talked about the basic shapes that comprise the human body, as well as the proportional relationships from the beginning of class. Students were really entertained by a life-size tracing of one of their classmates! Next, I demonstrated how to draw a figure made up of ovals and circles for joints. There were no details, and this exercise was simply about capturing proportional relationships. Students followed along on their papers, and then, practiced drawing the figure on their own. On Day Two, we focused on depicting the figure in motion. For example, I demonstrated posing the Manikin in different positions. We also viewed paintings by Jacob Lawrence (Builders) and Edgar Degas (Dancers) to talk about the different actions being completed by the figures in the painting. I used these paintings as a springboard to draw a few examples on the board. Lastly, students were reminded of proportional relationships. Their final works of art were completed on 12 x 18 Manila paper. Students were asked to draw several figures in action, to give the suggestion that they were traveling across the page. For inspiration, we brainstormed on favorite activities such as gymnastics, soccer, cheerleading, skateboard, etc. Many of the students were able to do the drawings proficiently, while a few others needed proportion reminders. Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome of this lesson. To follow, I am planning to feature a detailed, realistic figure in our next lesson.