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The goal of all education should be “Developing analytical skills and learning how to think!”

 

When a child learns how to concentrate deeply, intensely, and with great commitment on a single focused chosen goal, they are often astonished at the outcome.  They discover that they are able to do more than they ever imagined.


I want my students to learn to problem solve independently, and that means I need to help them learn how to think for themselves, and not just wait for me to do all of the thinking for them.  Together we have to break a lot of old habits.  They need to learn how to:

  1. Set ambitious goals, and trust in their own ability to get there!

  2. Break difficult problems into components, and figure out the best sequence of steps to proceed:

  3. -Develop their Perceptive Analysis skills to help them See and Think with more subtlety!

  4. -Lose their fear of making mistakes, which are the stepping stones to progress;

  5. Discover their own preferences, and allow their own personality to be expressed in their art (they do not have to routinely copy a sample image though I will teach them how to copy anything, if that is what they want.

  6. Recognize problem issues as early as possible.

 

They also have to :

  1. Be encouraged to review what they already know (to see if they can figure out a solution independently – this will not happen if they are given answers too quickly);  

  2. Be guided in new techniques and concepts as needed;

  3. Receive an extensive demonstration to show a detailed sequence of steps, as needed;

  4. Have time to try the same steps on their own art work;

  5. Have time to step back frequently to evaluate their own progress;

  6. Allow time to make improvements as desired.

 

In the process of making an image, we also talk about:

  1. Design and composition;

  2. Drawing techniques – sequence of ideas (biggest shapes first);

  3. Color mixing theory;

  4. A system for controlling the mixing of colors;

  5. Art history – famous artists who worked on similar problems, and how they solved them (hundreds of books in the studio);

  6. And a lot more – They can do more than they ever imagined, so don’t be afraid to Dream Big! And then try to make it happen.


There is a lot more benefit to art education than just making pictures.


- Diane Wallace