Handle with care

The Usborne Complete Book of Drawing. Edited by Alastair Smith and Judy Tatchell. Usborne Publishing, pound;9.99

Young people love to draw. As they get older, when left to their own devices they often want to create cartoon-like images of fantastic creatures, monsters, machines and extraordinary places. Comic books, graphic novels, animations and computer games form a big part of pupils' culture.

Good art teachers will tap into these interest, but will not solely base their schemes of work around these kinds of technique. Drawing is often about looking, and this book does encourage pupils to look at the real world. However there are also loads of examples of "how to..." This can be good and bad. If the book is taken as a basis upon which to learn techniques it can be useful for pupils and teachers. However if, as I fear, the only activity is slavish copying then the whole point of drawing has been missed. So for pupils the book needs to be handled with care. Key stage 23 art teachers could definitely use many of the ideas in the book as a source of inspiration when developing schemes of work.


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