We talked about Process over Product in our last blog post, what it means, why we care, and why it makes a HUGE difference in your child's education (head over there if you haven't already!).
But now we want to show you what Process over Product looks like IN ACTION (aka in our classes).
To briefly summarize key points in our education philosophy, valuing process over product means we believe in taking time to learn and practice techniques and skills before worrying about producing a perfect product.
It also means your student will not be drawing one landscape before we declare they are done with landscapes and never need to draw one again. As they gain more skills and move through our classes and programs, we teach them more techniques that can be used to create a more realistic landscapes, they have more time to practice values and perspective and slowly, their landscape drawings will improve.
So when you hear your child is drawing *another* landscape or portrait, that means they are getting another chance to build on their skills and learn and practice more, NOT that they're just doing something that they've already done before.
You wouldn't expect your basketball player to shoot and make one basket and call themselves "done'. You'd encourage them to keep practicing over and over until they've honed their skills.
Let's take a look at a simple portrait as created in each age-grouping of our classes to show the progression of skills and techniques as students learn and age. We'll also briefly discuss the skills that are introduced and focused on in each age-appropriate level.
When we've run classes for this age group in the past, we mainly focus on an introduction to art materials, and focus on emotions and color. When drawing portraits, we discuss basic facial features.
In our Intro to Art class for ages 4-5, we continue to introduce art materials and what they are used for. In this class, we begin to use simple shapes to draw facial features and begin discussion of facial proportions.
In this age group, we continue to have students practice utilizing simple geometric shapes to create facial features and continue developing an understanding of proportions on the face. We begin a slight introduction of shadows and students being associating art history with art techniques.
Using a photograph foundation, students being to thoroughly explore the form of the face by using light and shadow in this age group. A photograph foundation allows students to not be overwhelmed, and to be able to put their attention into the lessons we want them to focus on as we introduce how facial features move to show emotion and how to capture that in our drawings. Students will also begin replicating historical processes with a more in-depth understanding.
Returning to a photographic reference, students further their understanding of the face by using a variety of values to establish a realistic portrait. Students begin to use value (light and shadow) instead of line to define facial features. By now, students' more in-depth understanding of art history helps us to teach them how to apply that knowledge to further their learning.
At this point in our classes, students begin to develop their own project ideas while still functioning within a visual art principle. Students use value to define facial features, and consistently use measuring to define proportion. Students also begin to explore manipulating the elements of design to express their own artistic style.
In all of our classes, we emphasize the importance of practice and effort over the importance of the look of the finished product.
Some students have a natural tendency towards art and drawing, and others have to work harder to produce the same results, but by emphasizing process, we want to make sure each of our students is working hard and pushing themselves, not to achieve a certain set result, but to achieve the best of what they can personally do.
Take a look at our class options here and find one that's right for your child.