6th graders are beginning work this week on learning how to use a grid in art. Once the grids are completed, students will be recreating and enlarging a self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh....the catch....they will be drawing with the picture upside down!!!
Drawing with the image upside down, intuitively sounds like it would be harder, but it actually makes it easier to draw. It forces the mind to not look at the objects as what they are (eyes, mouth, nose, etc...) but forces the mind to look at the lines and proportions of the picture. Often when we draw a picture of something as we see it, our minds (from habit) tries to draw what we assume to be there... what an eye looks like vs. what we ACTUALLY see on the page. Drawing upside down, stops the mind from making these assumptions and makes the drawings more accurate.
This project will take us many weeks to complete. It is a time-consuming project but the results are always stunning. As a teacher it is exciting to see the progress of students who at the beginning of the project say, "I can't draw that" and then later stare in amazement at what they have created at the end of the project.