It looked unappealing.ย  One of the downfalls of purchasing a book without being able to browse it first is taking someone’s word for it that a curriculum is worth paying for, and I felt a little disappointed.

But not for long! ๐Ÿ™‚

The first section of Barry Stebbing’s Feed My Sheep is dedicated to colour theory and learning to use colour pencils effectively.ย  Lesson one introduces the student to the colour wheel,; primary colours;ย  vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines; and the concept of breathable colour.

primary colours, lines, lesson one

Our art class in the park has some quite young children who struggled with achieving even segments in the circle colour wheel. Explaining that you draw a capital Y in the centre of the circle can help them estimate the segment size.ย  A small ruler is easier to manipulate than a full size one, and sharp pencils are a must.

One thing I failed to make clear to my students from the outset (funny what you take for granted!) is the importance of working as neatly as possible.ย  That means neat labelling of lessons and dates, and using rulers to draw dividing lines.ย  A brand-spanking new sketchbook is just begging to be filled with beautiful work, and will be a record to be proud of if care is taken. It is no time for economy: only draw on one side of the page.ย  If both sides are coloured, the pictures will become grimed from rubbing on each other, and pressure from one page will print onto the work of the previous page.

Many children’s chapter books have black line illustrations which show a practical application for mastering colouring with line.ย  An example I used to show the park class was the illustrations inย  “Little Britches” by Ralph Moody, but many chapter books have examples of this type of illustration.

horizontal line

On one point I quite disagree with Mr Stebbing: he insists that all drawing should be done in coloured pencil.ย  While I can see the benefit of such a stance, (lead pencils don’t blend with the coloured pencils) it is, I believe, far too frustrating for beginning students to draw with coloured pencils.ย  They won’t erase without leaving an obvious record of struggle, and few children are happy with their first attempt at drawing.ย  Particularly as the lessons progress and the subjects to draw become more difficult, I would consider it very damaging to morale to require drawing with colour.

At the end of our first lesson it was roundly pronouced a success, and we promptly plunged into lesson two.ย  But more on that next time…

Thanks for visiting! ๐Ÿ™‚