Five reasons why teachers should take a life drawing course

13 July 2017

Whether your students are 5 or 50 years old, and whether you teach in a primary school or an art school, you could benefit from some time at the UCL Slade School of Fine Art. But why life drawing? How could you (and ultimately your students) benefit from your learning to draw the human figure?

Book now for 31 July Life Drawing - Summer School Short Course

1: Learn how to work out what your eyes really see, not what you think you see

examples from the life drawing short course

To learn how to a) question what your brain perceives and to b) deduce what is visible in front of you benefits not only your observational art, but how you see the world around you.

It opens your mind to new perspectives – as a teacher, is that not what you want for your students?

This is the reason why the naked human form can be a great place to start. The human body is so familiar to you (you see one every day) your brain makes assumptions and you draw what you think is there, not what you're actually seeing.

You wouldn’t get the same challenge drawing a chair, would you?

2: Develop a true understanding that will enable you to teach others

At the UCL Slade School of Fine Art, a crucial element of the teaching on observational drawing courses is questioning 'what is a drawing?' What is its function, how is it constructed, are there key elements of pictorial language and, if so, how do we identify, explore and extend our of knowledge of them?

This is not a course where you’ll just learn how to do something. You’ll explore in depth how the image is built and unfolds. This vital level of understanding will, in turn, enable you to teach others with this degree of clarity.

You’ll learn from experts in visual education who are constantly re-visiting ways to understand and communicate essential knowledge about drawing. The principles you'll learn are transferrable to any observational art.

3: Gain the confidence to try new things

As you develop a sound understanding of the first principles in drawing, as well as some key historical and contextual information, you’ll enrich and expand your experience.

Having gained a deeper understanding of the subject you'll gain much more confidence, as well as clear methods and principles to bring to your own teaching practice.

You’ll gain lots of new ideas about how to bring drawing to life for students in exciting ways. You'll be able to help them understand and explore the role that light, line, space and materials play in any given drawing, and the creative possibilities these key elements offer to any art session.

The drawings and exercises you undertake will equip you with strategies and a variety of ways to approach a drawing. This practice will reveal the importance of engaging with these ideas, and the impact that these principles can have on the quality and content of work.

4: Build a range of activities and ideas to bring into your own classroom

examples from the life drawing short course

By taking part in the class, and through discussions with the expert tutors and other participants, you’ll develop an armoury of ideas to take back into your own classroom.

You'll gain inspiration for activities, new perspectives on how to teach, and knowledge you can share. An interesting project could be built around how primary-school children might learn from manipulating a range of drawing materials from pencil through to charcoal and chalk; or how a group of teens might be enabled to articulate form quickly and sensitively through using only tone (light and dark) from their photographs, as well as from life.

Even if you’re a seasoned teacher with a lot of experience, you‘ll benefit from re-engaging with the Slade principles of drawing and learning new perspectives.

5: Change how your students see the world around them

Having explored all the above and taken it into the classroom, you’ll be an inspiration to your students. Taking them to an art gallery will be a fresh experience – you’ll see everything in a new light, and have new language with which to talk about art.

You’ll help your students to achieve their potential with drawing, change how they perceive everything around them and open their minds to new ideas.

In summary, it’s not just a life drawing class, it’s a new way to look and a new way to teach.

Read more about Life Drawing at the UCL Slade School of Fine Art and the tutors.


Page last modified on 11 July 2017 12:00