Shari Higgins May 7, 2021 Dot to Dot
It has been a long while since I last wrote. I really miss it when I cant put my thoughts to paper (or keys... as it is). Last week I was teaching a bunch of kids aged 4-8 about the importance of mindfulness. This is a class which I teach every week. If you have never taught little kids before, it is much like trying to herd cats. The mindfulness class is one hour and for one hour I need about ten to twenty different activities as their attention span is so fleeting. Last week I had prepared a very exciting lesson using vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate how, when your mind is racing, it is like bubbles in the jar. I LOVED my new experiment and the kids were mildly amused for thirty seconds. I taught them to put their hand on their belly and breathe down the "bubbles of anxiety in their minds". Naturally as the acetic acid reacted completely with the sodium bicarbonate, the bubbles settled. Seemed like a compelling lesson? But, as with the others, it was... on to the next lesson!
After that you can highlights it and make it as the main concentration. Before the filling step of the values, you are better to have good lines first in order to help you follow the structure. Take a finest pen and make some dots around the highlight. Avoid putting any dots inside the highlight area but keep the points gradually more and farther part closer the highlight. Try to make the dots closer together because it will keep the marks to stop when you move away from the highlight. After make sure the highlight fades to the mid-tones, continue with marking the points closer together. In this step, you should use middle sized pen. Next, fill for almost entire sphere and make the pints closer together until approaching the shadow. This method is also useful if you want to create images but do not know how to draw cartoons. For the shadow, the step is also closer the marks with the widest pen. Particularly in the darkest area, you should make the dots so loose that the white shows through. Then you may want to cheat and use the pen to color the entire shadow, but do not do this because you will lose the pattern of texture visibly that can only be created with pointillism.
Everyone is an artist, and drawing is a universal precursor to writing. It is very easy to introduce your little artist to the world of graphic arts, writing a story, and early literacy, by early drawing. A self-portrait is one of the first drawings. First- Buy a large 12x24 or larger, newsprint drawing pad. You can also buy a craft paper roll and cut it to size. Also, purchase a set of wide (fat) pre-school crayons. The small regular crayons will not be easy to use for a toddler, since the small muscles in the hand are developing. You should work in a large format with a child. Place a hand held mirror nearby for reference. Second- Sit down on the floor with your child, and have him or her choose a color, and place the large (fat) crayon in his or her hand. Help your child hold the crayon like a pencil. If they have trouble, then they can hold it in their fist.
Its also a good idea to have a larger one, about the size of a sheet of paper. 9 inches by 12 inches is a good size. Most papers these days are acid free, but if you have a choice, I suggest getting the acid free, because it will not turn yellow over time. I have a few drawings I made long ago that I wanted to keep, but the paper has turned yellow, because it wasnt acid free. So I suggest using it, because you may want to keep some of your drawings. I also like to get a pad of Bristol board. Thats like a heavier paper or a light cardboard. When you make finished drawings, you can use markers and felt pens on it, and they wont bleed through, like they will with lighter weight paper.
The event is inspiring creativity in the classroom worldwide: many teachers are reading Reynolds book aloud to their class, while some have been giving out certificates and dot candy as prizes. Elementary teacher Melissa Black is having her fourth graders use Pointillism (working with primary and secondary colors) and tiny dots to make paintings. She had her younger students start their artwork by gluing a paper dot of any size and color onto a piece of paper and learning to use the dot as a part of a bigger picture. Music teacher Judy Holloway is "Making Music with Dots" in her classes. She planned to use the notion of "sound dots" to relay basic lessons about rhythmic and melodic dictation while making the lessons fun and easy for her young students. "Third graders made colorful rhythmic patters and second grade wrote Do Re Mi on staff paper," Holloway wrote. "First grade will take colored markers and respond to music that is staccato (dots!) and legato by drawing designs on the whiteboard." Other teachers are having their students dot the equator and prime meridian on a map while they learn about latitude, longitude and other map skills. Some math teachers are using brightly colored dots in their lessons on arrays. In the computer lab, students are using Paint for Windows to discover where their dot takes them. Teachers are also sharing their plans with other teachers on the web; some are using Skype in the classroom and others are posting their ideas to the International Dot Day Facebook page.
I quickly put away the jar, vinegar, and baking soda and moved on to another exercise and another and another. At the end of each mindfulness class, I conclude with the same exercise: lying on your stomach and drawing your happy place. As soon as I announce that we are going to be doing the mindful drawing, they excitedly drop to their tummies and wiggle with the anticipation of a kid on Christmas morning. I pass out the fresh white paper and a can containing shards of crayons. The second their crayons hit the paper, you can hear a pin drop. There is no goofing around, there is no talking, but there is complete mindfulness. For fifteen minutes, they will draw, colour, and become immersed in their creation. Of course the real magic is not what is happening on the paper but rather what is happening in their mind. They are thinking about their happy place and then making it happen on paper - perfect mindfulness. It is the same as when we use guided visualization to enter into meditation.
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