The March 2016 issue of Arts and Activities magazine has an article about shading, ribbons and proportions that made me think of the ribbon and basket weave exercise many of us learned from Anne-Marie Evans.
In “Ribbons and Spheres: An Introduction to Still Life”, art teacher Rebecca Tarman writes about an exercise she uses with high school students. Tarman says the purpose of her lesson is to help students:
- Draw from life
- Draw only what they see
- Learn how to sight proportion
- Learn how to shade
Tarman describes how she accomplishes these goals by using a still-life model made of ribbon, ornaments and a piece of foam board. She explains how she attaches ribbon to foam boards using T-pins and how she uses ornaments of different sizes to teach students how to sight proportion. Her clever and very portable idea made me think that this would be a good exercise for anyone teaching botanical illustration at multiple venues. It is a good way to introduce first-time botanists and first-time artists to how to look at the growth patterns of tendrils, strap-shaped leaves, lianas, and twisting seed pods.
It also made me think:
- What if the round ornaments on students’ boards were replaced with fruit, leaves, flowers or inflorescences?
- How many ways could this lesson be used in a botanical drawing workshop?
Tarman, Rebecca. 2016. Ribbons and spheres: An introduction to still life. Arts and Activities. March. Retrieved from http://artsandactivities.com/ribbons-and-spheres.