Monday, March 5, 2012


Recently I was approached by "thecrazysheeplady" (Punkin's Patch).  She is doing something very exciting on her blog, encouraging people to take on a task that they might not have made time for. We all have things we would like to do, but just don't make it part of our day.

This month Sara is challenging us to draw a sheep.   If you think you can't draw, I would like to get you started.  I'm a retired art teacher and have been teaching at our farm for the past 10 years.  Most of my students had little or no experience, and have found out that they are all very capable of producing beautiful pieces.  Here are a few examples.
We meet on Tuesdays and I post their work after each class.

Back in the day when I was teaching at the High School,  all students were required to take 1 course of art or music.  This usually happened in the 9th grade.  Those who selected art were all started out in the same way and I continue to do that today.  If you have never heard of it, there is a book out there by Betty Edwards that is called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain."  It offers the best foundation for beginning artists that I have ever found and IT WORKS.

The key to drawing is being able to see, so the first thing I would have you do is contour line drawing.  I want you to get into the right side of your brain (the creative side).
CONTOUR - the outline of a figure or body; the edge or line that defines or bounds a shape or object.
Use a black marker if you have one.  There are two methods...

Blind - one continuous line (you may not take your pen off the paper).  Look at what you are drawing and DO NOT LOOK DOWN AT YOUR PAPER.  This is very frustrating at first, but will make you look very carefully at what you are drawing.  I usually start with a hand.
Take your time.

The second option is a modified contour line drawing.  This time, one continuous line, look at your hand and now, YOU CAN ALSO LOOK DOWN AT YOUR PAPER.  Do not lift your pen.  If you forgot something, trace back over the lines that are already there, and add it.

You can apply these two methods to other things.
Like a simple still life.

Once that is done you can turn it into a mixed media project if you want to.
She added colored pencil (in progress)

Have someone model for you.

You will find that drawing from a photograph or real life is much easier than doing something from your head.  So how are you going to get a sheep to model for you?  Go to Punkin's Patch or google some sheep pictures and see if you can do a contour line drawing.

This was done by one of my students.  Can you turn it into a contour drawing?

If you have never drawn before, using a grid can be a confidence builder.  Just remember, only look at one square at a time.
(in progress)

I could go on and on, but this should be enough to get you started.
Please hook up with Punkin's Patch (myfavoritesheep.blogspot.com) and participate in this challenge.
What I have shown you is just the beginning...get creative, all of you can do this.
Great idea Sara!


  1. I think it would be a lot of fun to take your art classes especially with the farm atmosphere and all the spinach you share in the summer. :) Thanks for the tips.

  2. I am so excited. Thanks for the starting tips. I am clueless and this helps!

  3. Your students are very talented and I'm sure a lot of it is due to having a great teacher. Believe it or not I never took art in school, but the projects we did do in class, well I don't think one of mine every got hung up. Can't draw a straight line with a ruler. My daughter is a very talented artist and won many awards for her art work and sculptures. I'm very impressed by anyone who can draw, paint, sculpt etc. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them. I think this is a great idea to get folks started in art.

  4. I've never done a contour line drawing before so I'm excited to give it a try. Thanks Lori :-D.

  5. I used to draw/doodle quite a bit and even took an art class in college. I tried, and my pieces looked good to me, but I was in way over my head with all the art majors. My teacher would laugh (in a friendly way), fix my picture and give me a passing grade. I seem to be better at creating pictures with words than with with colored pencils. I like the right brain exercise -- I don't think I ever did that one. If I lived closer to you, I'd take your art class. Your students all look like they are having so much fun.

  6. Very good results. Congratulations to the teacher !

  7. I will try, but oh my goodness, I'm pitiful at drawing.

  8. My sheep is up!
    My sheep is up!


    What fun I had!

    Thank you!

    Have a creative day!
    Looking forward to lots more sheep!


  9. Thanks for sharing those tips! Very interesting! I'm gonna try it.


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