art studio art serieschildren's art technique books
self-help and home schooling
ART STUDIO, vols 1 through 3 are a sequential series of books which gradually take the beginning student up through the most complex techniques of drawing and painting. They are the result of 25 years of author, illustrator James Watt's experience teaching after school children's art classes for students ranging in age from 1st grade to High School. Mr. Watt spent several years, previously, as a commercial artist. His work runs the gamut from cartooning/ humorous illustration to rigorous architectural drawings. The slogan 'Real Art for Real Children' says it all. These are the real techniques that all artists must use in order to be successful. The unique feature of this series and the reason for Watt's success teaching children is that many of the techniques artists learn over the years are not fully articulated by themselves and thus they are unable to clearly say 'what it is, exactly,they do'.
Watt uses the same method of teaching that Euclid, the famous Geometer, used to establish his proofs in his book 'Elements'. This book led to the establishment of the entire modern world based on art, science and technology. It's method is to define accurately the simple terms we use and then show how complex ideas are really built on top of earlier simple ones in a very consistent manner. The result is students learn mathematical reasoning, or logic, at the same time they learn art. And the bonus is, they find that neither is really very hard and that both are actually talking about the same thing - a clearer view of the Universe around us.
Further volumes are planned for next year (2021) to include color, water color and realistic animals. You can click on the book covers to take you to the Back Fence Publishing store.
More information on the ART STUDIO classes can be seen at the websitewww.childrensart.net.
This volume takes the student through the basics of geometry and art techniques, explaining how understanding the simple principles CLEARLY leads to rapid development of more complex projects. A person already versed in the techniques of art, will find this book extremely interesting. The material in this book is suitable for children 1st grade through High School. It is an excellent home schooling source for teaching your children how to draw well. Children in the 1st grade through 3rd grade will benefit from one of their parents working through the book with them.
Even if the parent thinks they 'can't draw', they will find to the contrary - they can and they will have the confidence to teach their younger children as a result. Mr. Watt includes comments on many of the common mistakes children make and so the parent can have absolute confidence in using this book with their children. They will recognize their children's mistakes and Watt will probably be pointing out in the text of that exercise, what they did wrong. So the parent is really acting as an intermediary. Children who are in the 4th grade and above, will have no problems with this book on their own. Below is an illustration from towards the end of the book. It is the last part of an exercise showin how to draw someone 'holding something, in this case a guitar'. ISBN 9780976478416
Volume 2, picks up where Volume 1 leaves off. Volume 1 shows how to draw a person 'facing you', which is the most common view children use when they are drawing. Volume 2 show how artists use geometry to 'turn' the figure to the 'In-between View' and the 'Side View'. It shows children how to start 'laying out a drawing' so that figures are near and far, exactly where you want them to be. It also begins to show a little of how to do backgrounds for drawings. Again, this book is excellent as a home schooling text for parent and child(ren). Those children in 4th grade through High School can use the book on their own.
Volume 3, Scaling & Perspective, begins to tackle a subject that mystifies many, including many professional artists. The book walks the students up through scaling, laying out landscape and then to architectural drawing and vehicles. It has inbetween lessons in techniques of drawing circles in perspective, toning landscapes with ink and a lesson in optics - how we see the world around us and how the artist translates, via geometry, the 3 dimensional world into the 2 dimensional world of drawings.
This book, because of its subject, is at the upper end of what a 1st through 3rd grade student can expect to do. This is not that 'they can't do it', it is just the concepts start to get advanced beyond their understanding as they are learning in school. The book is recommended for home schooling, but should be reserved for 4th graders and above. Again, 4th graders through High School will have no problem with it and will be impressed with the level of art they start doing as a result of using this book. Watt teaches this material to 1st and 3rd graders in his classes but ensures them that 'they don't have to understand everything' and just to use 'what they understand'. This works out well for them.
Left, is a finished illustration from Scaling & Perspective. This was an illustration of scaling and landscaping as well as toning with ink. You can see the progress is rapid between Volumes 1 and 3! But, you can't get to Volume 3 without first doing Volume1!