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The Art of Teaching ArtA Guide for Teaching and Learning the Foundations of Drawing-Based Art$
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Deborah A. Rockman

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130799

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195130799.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2021

Essential Skills and Information: What Every Teacher and Every Student Should Know about Drawing

Essential Skills and Information: What Every Teacher and Every Student Should Know about Drawing

(p.11) Chapter 1 Essential Skills and Information: What Every Teacher and Every Student Should Know about Drawing
The Art of Teaching Art

Deborah A. Rockman

Oxford University Press

Students often go through the motions of sighting without really understanding what they are doing and why it works. A little understanding of the principles of sighting goes a long way toward encouraging students to use the process to their advantage. . . . Why Use Sighting? . . . Many students have found that they are shining stars when it comes to copying photographs or working from other existing two-dimensional sources. They are often confounded when they discover that drawing from observation of three-dimensional forms does not yield the same strong results, the same degree of accuracy they are accustomed to. It is helpful for both the instructor and the student to understand why this occurs. Drawing or representing a three-dimensional form on a two-dimensional surface requires, in essence, a language translation. The language of two dimensions is different from the language of three dimensions. We must observe the three-dimensional form and translate it into a language that will be effective on a two-dimensional surface, such as a piece of drawing paper. When students draw from an existing two-dimensional source, the translation from 3-D to 2-D has already been made for them. But when they are referring to the actual form, they must make the translation themselves. The process of sighting provides the method for making this translation easily and effectively. A sighting stick is the basic tool for the process of sighting. I recommend using a IO" to I2" length of 1⁄8" dowel. Suitable alternatives include a slender knitting needle, a shish-kebab skewer, or a length of metal cut from a wire clothes hanger. Your sighting stick should be straight. I discourage the use of a drawing pencil as a sighting stick simply because the thickness of the pencil often obscures information when sighting. The more slender the tool, the less it interferes with observing the form or forms being drawn. However, in the absence of a more suitable tool, a pencil will suffice. In presenting sighting principles to a class, it is vital to go beyond a verbal explanation. For students to effectively understand the process, it is strongly recommended that teacher and students walk through the process together, exploring the various ways of applying sighting.

Keywords:   abstract compositions, balance, chiaroscuro, decorative lines, focal points, ground lines, high key value, individual attention, low key value

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