University is the same. You might get to go without worksheets in studio classes, but you'll be using JUST charcoal and newsprint for a few semesters of drawing, and you'll be CRAMPED in terms of what you get to actually draw- believe me, no animals. It's all about improving technique, art is learned best from observation of life- prepare to spend two semesters of painting and drawing doing just vases, plaster shapes, sheets and draperies!
Then, to complete your bachelors, 80% of your classes will be out of studio- work sheets, babbling, crap you don't care about.
That's school though, they need to make sure you hit a certain quota, and though some teachers try hard to please, not all students work the same way.
My high school's main art teacher was one of those. She was in charge of the school's art club, which I had wanted to be apart of since Freshman year. One the fateful day I saw the flyers saying that art club was going to meet, I went to the right room on the right day and waited for the teacher. She wasn't just the art/art history/painting teacher, she was also the photography teacher too, and was talking with a couple of her photography students. After they left, she finally noticed me and said that the club wasn't going to meet that day, and said to come back next week. Ok, cool. Came back next week, and again, was told that the club wasn't meeting that day. Come back next week. Oh... So next week came and I went to her room and it was locked. She was in a teacher's meeting. Being forgiving, I tried yet again the next week, and got the 'next week' bit again. Finally fed up and tired of having to track down random students in order to use their cell phones to call home, I stopped coming to art club and joined the creative writer's club (which I stayed with for the next two years). I participated in that club happily (though I missed the club yearbook photo shoot- I was there on the right day, but couldn't find the room), and about 2-3 weeks after giving up art club, that teacher was in a room I passed with at least 15 students getting their pictures taken.
That was only my first encounter with that teacher, and we ran into each other a few more times. Senior year, I got placed into art history (which surprised me, considering how history was repeatedly been known to be one of my worst subjects, but hey, a chance for college credit, and it's art related, so I gave it a shot). That teacher was teaching the class. It was so infuriating being in her class. She didn't have a website with the Powerpoint notes for a few weeks and she went by so fast on the notes it was hard to take them. Her note worksheet she gave us was too annoying- there was a space for doodling a historical piece (the only drawing we did), and a tiny space for ~2 paragraphs of notes that wouldn't fit on there. The notes were a required thing to turn in, and though she said she allowed alternative notes (as in- you could type them and turn them in or write in a note book, etc.), she refused to accept my notes when I typed them. I did ok on the tests, but still flunked the class simply because I thought that she disliked me.
Mainly with my teacher is that she never explained anything in a way that was easy to get. Like we did contours for months, but she never explained why we did them. We did worksheets, but never practiced any of the stuff on them. Why do stuff if you don't know why you're doing it?
She also liked to get off topic very easily and talk about her kids instead of teaching us. We'd probably waste 5-10 minutes most days in class listening to her chatter on about this or that and wait for her to find our assignments. It was just so slow paced and tedious to even listen to her. If I look to my left, and I look to my right, my fellow students should not look like they would rather run ten miles than be in art class.
LudwigvanKickass2Featured By OwnerFeb 7, 2013Professional Traditional Artist
I wouldn't if I were you. There are still quite a number of things you can learn from basic art. I used to hate contour drawing, as I saw it as a waste of time. But now when I actually draw objects I fix in and lock on that contour, reveling in every facet and change. Don't write her off. And contour is perfect for getting you to focus more on your subject, which you seem to have a problem doing.
I'm definitely working on it. Right now I've been focusing a lot on trying out different media to find what I really like/don't like, or would want to practice more precisely in the future. Finally branching out of just graphite pencils lol.
I've painted one thing only in acrylics and I felt like I had problems adjusting my mind from pencil mode to paintbrush mode . I have to teach myself they are two different tools entirely. And watercolors were fun too.
This was written when I was angry and tired after a long day, so if it came off as "I was too good for the basics" that was not the intent. For a more appropriate profile of myself and and of my reasons for not liking her, look at my response to *Lankss (the 3rd paragraph) and ~Euterpe-The-Egret.
"leaving her" as in I am taking video technology to get an occupational necessary to graduate high school. My grades are fine, no dropping out in the fore see-able future.
That makes more sense. I definitely felt like I was just sitting back in her class not accomplishing much, but that's largely what I was upset about. I have a hard time being at school and not being challenged. A lot of people don't like school, but I actually like the learning aspect. But if the material isn't pushing me mentally or seems bland, I quickly start looking for something that will make it harder, of all things.
I would rather be in an advanced art class where I have to push myself to get good like those around me than be in a simple class where I'm good compared to everyone around me but not getting better by a great margin. Does that make sense?
That's true. Though as far as the art class goes, I had to decide if I wanted to take 2nd semester on the chance that it would ramp up, or take video tech. to knock out an occupational credit I needed, take something art based, and challenging because I knew I'd be coming in mid-year and have to work harder. So my perspective, this instance wasn't a hard decision. I've still got two more years to take art classes, so I can plan for more challenging ones in the coming years, now that I know what to expect from them personally and by listening to my friends' experiences.
Here's a touchin' story: We were surrounding a table in art class, watching the teacher do a demonstration, many of us on our knees as there were not enough chairs. While the teacher was busy looking at her paper and shading for us, someone poked my friend in the back of the neck and he said "Jesus!" The art teacher said "If you're going to talk to Jesus, then you had better be down on your KNEES!" He actually was, not having a chair, so he just laughed. The art teacher made him stay after class and pray. It was hilarious :y
In our school district art classes work like this: Elementary: FUCKING FUN Middle school: any artistic dreams go to die in the hands of a bi-polar diabetic hag. High school(current):Where kids who were too stupid to make a schedule were thrown (usually jocks and ghetto people) and the talented have two fat old women screeching at them to paint the same way they do.
There weren't any art classes in my elementary school. The middle school art teacher's philosphy is that it's his job to get kids passionate about art. He takes the kids that seem lazy and disobedient and he teaches them art. I don't think there was a single person in any of his classes that didn't like him.
He wasn't perfect- it looked a tornado blew through the class everyday from the mess, and sometimes he would forget to finish some projects. But the classroom had the feel that if you dug through his crazily messy desk you'd find something inspirational in the back corner(that was another thing, he didn't mind it if kids went through his desks looking for art stuff. He never had anything valuable in there anyway).
And then I get up to the high school where I get to regularly see kids around me get turned off by art as she badgers them about their art. Some of these kids probably have never touched a paintbrush in their life but she doesn't take the time to work with them. She spent more time telling them to take their hats off than trying to help them individually. Some didn't even know what a blending stick was for and since she wouldn't teach them what is was I helped some of them out. That's another reason why I don't like her. It wasn't just me who didn't like the class; it was looking around and seeing everyone unhappy around me that turned me off big time.
"the whole practice had the mentality of 'read the book and fill in the answers on the worksheet.'" You need to change YOUR attitude. You had the mentality that it was all about just filling out the worksheet. The teacher is not going to hand you information on a silver platter. This is college. You need to learn to start looking for information yourself. She is giving you the tools you need but you need to, in return, actually read you homework assignments and try to learn from them. The worksheet is just there so that you can get a grade.
Contour drawing is to help your eye and brain learn to work together. It gives you a new way of seeing the subject (by focusing on the negative space) and will help to train your eye to see the subject better and more completely. Your brain simplifies EVERYTHING into shapes. A house is a triangle on top of a square, an eye is a football shape, heads are oval shaped, etc. It is a faster way for your brain to translate all that we see. These simplified versions of how we see things are extremely unhelpful as an artist. This exercise helps you let go of the symbolism and actually see things for how they are.
Something you seem to lack is the understanding that you really are a beginner. Everyone in my university has to start at the bottom and work your way up too more advanced classes. These classes give you a firm base to launch off from. I've watched many students, like you, who grump about "not learning anything" and end up dropping out because they think they are better than the basics. Try to learn that the basics are truly important. Apply yourself (after all you are paying for these classes) to the best of your ability and change your attitude. Only after that will you be able to learn something. Basic classes also help you branch out (hence why you are doing glass art) and explore different mediums. You really don't know what you will and won't like until you experiment. This will allow you to branch out, if you so desire, in the future. My friend was a painter until she took a Painting and sculpture class. Now she's found out that she is super great at sculpture, which she was never interested in, and has been featured in a gallery for her new works. You really never know how things are going to go until you try them out.
Looking through your gallery, you show some potential. You still need to learn to use your tools better and to see your subjects better. There are loads of flaws that you can improve upon and it can start in these classes. You can only take out of these classes what you are willing to take out of them. By being optimistic and trying to learn you will do better. You can also start getting more out of your time by reading art publications and getting caught up on the contemporary art scene. The art section in the New York times is good for this as are sites such as Art Forum. This will allow your work to develop conceptually (which is in great need at this point) while you work on your skills.
Firstly, thank you for a detailed response. I appreciate this.
I'd just like to point out that I'm not in college, this was a high school art class. The problem with the worksheets that I didn't elaborate on was that after we did them in class she took them and didn't give them back, so we couldn't study them at all, and we weren't allowed to check out her art books either. There was no "homework", only in class work. And then the principals in the worksheets were not built upon in class and addressed indivividually in a way that would help the class remember and practice them. "Here's some questions now do them and turn them in and let's move on." That was all we did with the worksheets. And if she did expect us to further research on our own outside of class, she certainly never mentioned it or suggested any places, so we were all on our own.
Your brief explanation of contours just told me more about them than she did in class for months. Maybe the reason I didn't like them at all was because she simply didn't communicate well their purpose. Even when students asked why we were doing them she'd just give this long winded and confusing response that didn't answer anything concretely. None of knew what they were really for and after a while we all stopped caring. Looking at your explanation I can see how they have purpose now, so thank you for that insight.
I have a hard time remembering to follow all of the basics together, but I've never thought that they weren't important. It's pretty common for me to finish a picture and realize all the little points where I went wrong. I actually have a folder on some of my drawings where I point out things that I think I can do better. That doesn't mean that I get around to actually practicing them, which is a bad habit I acknowledge that I really need to work on, but I know they're there and that I can do much better.
I have all these ideas and projects for getting better in my mind, but I just don't get around to them. It drives me crazy at myself. I'll say I'll do one drawing tonight, then my homework will get in the way, got to go to practice, double-header basketball games, then I come home and just do some half-hearted attempt at what I wanted to do. So I suppose the biggest challenge I need to set for myself is getting the discipline to carry out my potential as you point out.
Thank you for your serious response. I got to reflect my self really well
I had two art teachers or my A Levels, the female one Mrs E fucking hated me with a passion and everything I did was wrong but the other one Mr B was amazing he taught me more about art in two years then I ever knew in my life. He was also passionate about the type of art I did.
Mr B is like the art teacher who was at my middle school. I couldn't take his art class because I filled my elective with band, but he let me come into his room at lunch even if he wasn't there to work on projects. I actually got to meet him because he was my history teacher. He incorporated history into art and made both enjoyable. while "Mr. R" was more of a painter, he really supported all kinds of art and he was really passionate about everything. He made me inspired to do art more.
Oh, the teacher in question COMPLETELY turned me off of painting. Like, forever.
You know what his first assignment to me was? To copy an oil painting. Some crazy painting of Jesus surrounded by angels and weeping folk and shit. This was his first assignment to me, a guy who had NEVER USED OIL PAINTS BEFORE. And when I naturally couldn't even get a single person or two in the painting done before the deadline, he flunked me. He'd offer me no help with details. More often than not, he'd tell me to just start over from scratch, even when it came to just doing an underdrawing. Yeah, because I have money to just throw away on big fucking canvases.
Two years of this fuckface. I couldn't wait to be rid of him.
Dang, that's just really sad and repulsive. What a waste of time and potential on both his part and yours. I personally don't think teachers should expect their students to complete copies of experts' work faster and better than the experts' themselves.
Did he actually have you throw away the canvas or did you reuse it for something else at least? I can't even fathom anyone being so careless with materials like that! I'm glad for your sake that you're rid of him.
The clincher is that everyone else got these nice, easy paintings. Simple impressionist stuff, with wide open colored areas that would make ideal practice for me, this being my first oil project. But no, I get fucked with the crazy intricate religious painting.
I refused to start over. I worked and reworked and reworked the underdrawing to as near perfection as I could get, then worked and reworked the primary layer of the painting, getting most figures out of the way. I was maybe done with three or four figures and a good deal of the background by the time the deadline came around. I busted my ass on it, and I gave every new medium I learned at school an honest-to-god shot on their first projects. But nope, it wasn't an EXACT replica down to every little grain of paint, so I got flunked.
For your sake, I'm truly sorry about all of that Though honestly, if your best wasn't good enough for that guy I don't think anything would have satisfied him. Even if you turned in a perfect replica he'd probably just scream "art forgery!" to have something to degrade you about. If it makes you feel even tiny ounce better, I salute you for trying