A Deep Dive into Drawing (Ep. 060)

It’s Drawing Week at AOE, and the guys can’t resist getting in on the action. Tim loves to talk drawing, and Andrew has a lot of questions for him about how to improve his own drawing classes. This episode covers a lot of ground, including the best ways to start the year (4:00), why skills and engagement aren’t mutually exclusive (18:00), and how important it is to provide quality materials (21:00). They close the show talking about organization (26:45), and sprinkle some of their best tips and tricks throughout the episode. Full episode transcript below.


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Welcome to Art Ed Radio, the podcast for art teachers. This show is produced by The Art of Education and I’m your host, Tim Bogatz.

It is Drawing Week at The Art of Ed. All week there are going to be articles about how to improve how you teach drawing in the classroom, from sketchbook prompts to planning to how to work with sketchbooks, how to do drawing projects. We have got it all covered. Of course, we can’t pass up that opportunity here on Art Ed Radio, so this week’s podcast is going to be a deep dive into how we teach drawing.

A quick warning for you though. This episode might run a little long. If you remember a few weeks back, we sent out a survey about the podcast. We heard from a lot of people who wanted longer episodes. So Andrew and I decided we’re going to give that a try, at least one time here. This seemed like the perfect episode to do it, because I love to talk about drawing and Andrew just loves to talk, period. We’re going to dive deep into teaching drawing, tips and tricks, tools, styles, organization, lessons, it is all on the table, and we’ll see how long it goes. It should be a good time. We’ve got a lot to cover so let me bring on Andrew and we will get the conversation started.

All right, and I am here to talk about drawing with Mr. Andrew McCormick. Andrew, how are you?

Andrew: I am doing fantastic. Thank you.

Tim: Okay, glad to hear it. Now I do have to let the listeners in on a little bit of something. We are talking about this episode and I literally could not be more excited to talk about drawing. It is my favorite thing in the world to teach and my favorite thing in the world to talk about. You maybe, see how should I put this, did not share my excitement. So can you explain everyone why you’re not as thrilled as I am to talk about drawing?

Andrew: Maybe we need to couch this. I mean like I am apprehensive. I, if I’m being honest, I feel like some of my drawing classes and drawing curriculum is like, it’s not clicking on all cylinders right now. I can give it to you straight man. I’ve got successes and I’ve got failures. I actually am, to be honest with you, I’m actually excited to talk to you about this because I’ve got some things that I’m struggling with that I want to make work better, and I think maybe you’re going go to be the perfect person to help me out with this.

The funny thing is, and I actually talked about this with my students today. I said, “Guys, I feel like I’m struggling here to help you guys out, because I feel like I’m a pretty good drawer,” and all the kids kind of laughed because it’s like … No, wait, wait. That came out wrong. That came out wrong Tim. They laughed because they thought I was being falsely modest, like I’m way better than they are and when I say, “I think I’m pretty good,” I’m actually being honest because I have friends who can draw me under the table. But I think I’m pretty good. I’m pretty competent at drawing and I look at some of my student work kind of pound for pound and I’m just like, I thought I was a good teacher, but somehow my skills at drawing and teaching are not being transferred and like conveyed over to my students. I got to rethink a little bit how I’m doing things I think.

Tim: Yeah, that makes sense. I don’t know, like should we … I mean we’re calling this a deep dive into drawing. I don’t know. Let’s dive in. I guess where do you start? What do you with your kids? When it’s day one of drawing class, or the first week, or first couple of weeks, what are some of the projects that you like to do, what are some things that you teach in order to get your kids interested and get your kids started drawing?

Andrew: Okay, and here’s maybe where I stepped in at right away in day one, because I’ve always believed it’s important to build some skill sets and build some skills with some projects that are very low stakes. I always tell kids, “Listen, the first week, I’m not going to ask you to draw a picture of your mom, because it’s going to look awful. You’re going to hate me for making you do it. You’re going to hate yourself because it don’t look good. You might even end up hating your mom because the drawing looked so ugly,” right? I tell them like, “We’re going to start with like some abstract stuff.”

I do a shading exercise that’s purely abstract that’s about building their kind of pressure and their ability to be sensitive and have various pressures and various shades. I do another project that’s building their ability to draw with thick and thin lines, because I think that’s one of the skills that are lost with a lot of kids. They think shading is all just blend it, just blend everything, but they don’t realize that you can have a variety of pressure, but you can also have a variety of lines.

Now to me, in my mind I think, okay, we start with these sort of like skill building, low pressure activities, and then presto wamo we’re going to be able to transition that into then like now let’s make like a really good drawing, and it’s like there’s something in that leap of faith that this semester seems like it’s not working. I don’t know if they’re not prepared enough, they don’t trust that they can do it, or whatever it is, but it’s like once we get out of that three or four little projects of skill building into like, “All right, now it’s like real drawing,” we’re floundering a little bit. So I don’t know. How about you? I mean what’s your approach?

Tim: Let me ask you this. Do you feel like you’ve scaffolded stuff and then maybe the next step up is just a little bit too far for your kids maybe?

Andrew: I think so. The first project we do we just do like a shaded still life and I try to get them a mixture of objects that are organic and inorganic. In doing so I hope that there’s a variety of texture. It’s from smooth to shiny to pokey, spiky, whatever, and we just draw it, we draw it fairly small and we shade it. Maybe that’s too boring. Maybe that doesn’t grab my kids by the spirit, but there’s some. I don’t want to make it sound like I’m just living a nightmare here, but it just seems like pound for pound, like I’m kind of struggling in my drawing curriculum more than I am in other ones. I don’t know. Maybe it is that it’s like too big of a leap from this sort of abstract skill building to then like representational. I don’t know if there’s something in between there that I’m missing out on.

Tim: No, there definitely could be, and I was just going to say that drawing still lives it kind of sucks. It’s tough to get kids excited about a still life. I don’t know. I’ve kind of moved beyond that I guess. I don’t know if I want to say moved beyond, but I never really taught still life a lot just because I think it’s tough to get kids excited.

But let me circle back around just with beginning lessons and exercise. I do a lot of the same thing as you do, or just practice shading, I do a really simple one where I have kids do their name or their initials in bubble letters just really or block letters on a really small piece of paper like six by eight, six by nine maybe, and then they do a bunch of diagonal, horizontal, vertical lines all throughout the page and it divides the page up into a bunch of different sections, and then inside of each section they do a gradient, just going from light to dark value. You make sure that no dark values are touching, no medium values are touching.

It’s a very simple exercise but it’s small so it goes quick and it really gets them into just working with value, working with different pressures like you mentioned. We obviously use blending stamps with that, so kids get a little bit of a feel of some different tools that they can use. We do a lot of line exercises like you mentioned. We do a lot of blind contour drawing and just regular contour drawing. When I say a lot I mean like a couple days’ worth. It seems like a lot but when you fit a dozen quick drawings in, then it really does get them some practice.

What I always tell them, just the mindset is you don’t have to be good yet. I’m not going to grade how fantastic their drawings are in the first couple of weeks. I just want to see that they’re practicing, that they’re putting effort in and that they’re motivated to draw. I talk to them about that where I don’t have really any expectations for quality at the beginning. But then as we move into different ideas, different projects, then maybe it is time to step up quality and I let them know what the expectations are when that happens.

Then my first I guess big “project fit” I like to do is tool drawing and we look at Jim Din. He’s got great use of value and great use of expressive lines. I think that use of expressive lines is key because it really gives kids freedom to not feel like everything has to be precise, everything has to be perfect. We can scribble, we can do all sorts of weird shading in the background and there may be some parts that are detailed that are really representational or realistic, but you can also have a little bit of freedom to make sure that it’s not perfect and that sort of eases kids in a little bit before we be a little bit more realistic.

Andrew: I got to jump in here. I’m going to tell you that I’m kind of like bizzaro Tim Bogatz. I’m just like you but like in a weird way, like exactly opposite. I came to this realization yesterday. I was really thinking about my drawing curriculum because I’m going to be honest with you. I teach a drawing class this semester for the first time ever where I’ve taught … Well I mean this year, I guess I taught it last semester too, but it’s the first time I’ve ever taught a ninth grade drawing class that was just drawing. I’ve always taught more your seventh grade art, eighth grade art, ninth grade art, kind of your smorgasbord class where we do a drawing project, we do a painting project, we do a print making project, we do a ceramics project. This has been the first year that I’ve ever taught a full on semester like welcome to drawing, just drawing, drawing, drawing.

I think I’m actually hung up on why a student would take drawing versus ninth grade art, because to me a student takes ninth grade art because it want some creativity, they want some variety, even if they’re not like, “Art it’s not my jam but I just thought it would be fun.” I can work with those kids all day every day. It’s not that I can’t work with my drawing kids but I feel like the student who signs up for drawing has a slightly different agenda. I imagine a kid who takes drawing as dug on it, “I want to get good at drawing,” like, “I’m taking this class. Help me get good at drawing. None of this creative fluffy, duffy like let’s all just explore some stuff. Get me good at drawing.” I’ve taken a much more sort of skills, product, quality sort of approach and maybe it’s just like not genuine to what my spirit really is. Maybe I’m like a little more fluffy than that.

Here’s what I realized. That the drawing projects that I invent and create for my eighth grade class and my ninth grade class are like a thousand times more fun and interesting than what I’m doing in my drawing classes. Does that make any sense? I’m the dumbest person in the world. Like why am I making these, why am I making these super fun drawing projects for the kids who are in drawing, and then when it comes to drawing it’s like now you will draw a still life that will crush your soul?

Tim: 14 point value scale, has to be, yeah.

Andrew: I don’t know. I think I’m stupid. But okay, here’s what I’m a bizzaro you. In my eighth grade art class, I’ve been doing this for years and I think it works really well. I do a Jim Dine project and I absolutely cannot stand Jim Dine’s artwork. I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. But we do instead of tools we do toys. I’ve got this big old crate of like McDonald’s toys and we start with just a normal contour line drawing. Then I do continuous contour line drawing. Then I do blind contour. Then I do an outline. Then by the end it’s like this big expressive colorful explosion in the background, figure ground, reversal sort of stuff, and I think the kids come out of that surprised that they’ve gotten a lot better at drawing.

That project has worked well with me. I want people who listen to this podcast, not just feeling like I’m horrible and I don’t know what I’m saying. I do have some projects that have like drawing bona fides. I’ve taught students how to draw well. It’s just when I have them all semester I’m struggling a little bit.

Tim: Yeah. That can be tough to continuously come up with new lessons and new ideas. Let me share one with you though that I really like doing. This just sort of continues on that process where you have a chance to do things realistically but there’s not a lot of pressure to get everything right. What we do is the smashed face portrait drawings where you might have seen these. The lesson plans actually up on the AOE site will link to it. But basically I’m on one side of the window with a camera and the kids are on the other side and they literally just smash their face up against the glass. I’ll take their picture and we use that as the first portrait that we do.

It’s fantastic because with that smashed face their features are like so distorted, they look so crazy. It’s nice because that takes the pressure off them, they don’t have to get the perfect three quarter angle with all of the perfect proportions and features, because one eye ball is way lower than the other and the cheek is smashed up and you can see all of the gums and teeth. It’s super weird, and it’s hilarious, and they love doing it. Like I said, it really takes the pressure off of them as far as having to make things perfect. When everybody in the class looks just as stupid as you do, there’s not a lot of hesitation to kind of dive in in something that kids really enjoy.

I don’t know. Do you mess with portraits at all when … I mean you said we don’t want to draw your mom because that gets real complicated real quick, and that’s obviously not something to start with. But do you eventually get around to doing portraits?

Andrew: Oh yeah. I actually love doing portraits myself. I actually do almost the exact same project with you in my eighth art grade class, again, the one that I’m having some success with. I just call it distorted, distorted self-portraits, and I show them any number of ways that they can do it. I’ve had kids wrap their face in packing tape and then their nose gets jacked up and their cheek gets mushed up. I’ve done the window thing. I’ve done the leaf blower in your face so your cheeks get all like puffed out and blown out.

The one that my students have been gravitating more towards and I kind of regret this a little bit is the quick and easy Snapchat filters where, “Oh, now I’m an old man,” or, “Now I have a giant forehead and it’s puffed out and bulged out.” That’s fine. I mean I kind of want the kids to be excited about what they’re doing, but I would say 80% of my students now just go to a goofy silly filter on their iPad or on their phone. That’s fine. It really does take the stress off of making it look realistic because their face never looks like that.

I’ve done another one with my ninth grade art class that I call pop portraits or superhero portraits, basically looking at like Warhol, Lichtenstein, like how to do a self-portrait that’s a little bit more puffy, high contrast, less shaded, and again I give them lots of different options and how they do that. But then because I’m a genius when it comes to my drawing class it’s like, “Hey, draw yourself looking super realistic and photo realistic,” and everyone’s really frustrated. I’m learning a lot this semester and I’ve got 10 weeks left to kind of change things around and mess with them a little bit more. But I really do like portrait drawing. I think it’s like a super great skill and subject matter for kids to learn.

Tim: Yeah, same, and I think it’s super engaging for them just because they’re so narcissistic. They love staring at themselves for a couple of weeks as we work on these things and it seems to work out really really well. So that’s, I don’t know, that’s always cool with my kids. I don’t know, it sounds to me like you may need to focus a little less on the technical skill and a little more on the engagement. Do you feel like that’s maybe what you’re lacking with the class that you’re struggling?

Andrew: I think so but it’s like, again, I think I go back to like well why did these kids sign up for, and it’s like they wanted to learn skill. But then like I’m playing my, I’m being basically my own worst enemy here because it’s like I can hear the critic in my head saying, “You idiot, like when did skills and like buying or like interest and creativity, when did those things become mutually exclusive?” You can build skill set while still having a project that’s like open ended. To me it’s just like I guess I thought that building the skill sets and showing like look at how much you’ve improved, that that would be like enough buy in and sort of interest, but it’s like I’m kind of realizing that maybe it’s not.

I actually today, literally today, like four or five hours ago with one of my classes sat down and I said, “Okay, like I’m not really feeling it where we’re going and what we’ve been learning, so let’s talk about what you guys want to learn and what that looks like.” I said, “This could be subject matter wise. Like you want to draw hot rods. I don’t have a hot rod project, but maybe that could be something. If you want to draw landscapes and we haven’t done that yet, let me know.” I also said, “Or like is there a skill that you wish you could learn that we haven’t done yet?” That one kind of took them by surprise.

But the thing that I kept getting over and over and over again was cartooney. We want, we want more opportunities to draw in a style that we’re more comfortable with, so whether that means like anime, whether that means like Cartoon Network cartoons, whether that means video games. I got all these ideas from them which is like, “Well, why don’t we do figure drawing a la make a new character for a video game or a movie that you like.” I mean that’s still a very traditional figure drawing lesson and I can talk about proportions of the body, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, but yet they’re invested in it because it’s a video game or a movie that they like.

I got a lot of can we do graffiti, can we do tattoo illustrations, can we do a redesign album cover, and I think my trick now over the next 10 weeks is to do a better job that and a job that I’ve done in other classes of finding where do their interests lie and how can I more sneakily embed some of the hardcore skills that I want them to learn where they don’t even know that they’re doing it. Because so far I think I’ve kind of failed at that.

Tim: Yeah, and I think you’re kind of hitting the nail on the head there. I think for anybody who’s teaching drawing it’s a mixture. You need to find that balance of engagement and technical skill and I think the best lessons that we teach … I mean you just listed a dozen possibilities right there, but no matter what you go with you need to find something that teaches technical skill but also engages your kids and that can be difficult to do sometimes, but I think that’s kind of the role that we need to play as a teacher and I think that’s what we should be shooting for.

But if we can move on a little bit from lessons I want to talk a little … I mean if we’re talking all about drawing, we need to talk materials too. I’ll send this one at you first. For you, how important are quality materials? Do you go for the nicest pencils, the nicest paper? Do you think you can teach stuff with cheap paper and cheap pencils? Where do you lie there?

Andrew: Dude you are hitting me at such a vulnerable spot right now. I am just open and raw right now. I’m going to give it to you. I used to think that anyone who is a good teacher and a good drawer, so as a student you could take a piece of notebook paper, lined with the blue lines, and you can take a number two test taking pencil and by God you ought to be able to make a good looking drawing. I still kind of feel that way. I think in eighth grade art and ninth grade art when I have my students draw, I just, it’s like just get out a number two pencil. Now I ban mechanical pencils, other than sketching, if you want to lay out, but if you’re actually shading and making a finished product, making a-

Tim: Yeah, mechanical pencils are a nightmare, nightmare.

Andrew: Dude, get them out of here. Get them out of here. But I don’t splurge on quality drawing materials like 2B, 4B, 6B, 3H pencils for my eighth and ninth graders where drawing is just a small part of it. But in my drawing curriculum, my drawing class that I’m struggling with a little bit, yeah, we talk about that stuff and I think that’s one of the things for me that differentiates it from just ninth grade draw or ninth grade art is here’s like the good stuff and here’s some ebony pencils and here’s some charcoal and here’s some watercolor or charcoal paper and look at the difference of doing that, but it’s not something I necessarily stress or fret over in a more general class.

Tim: Yeah, and I think when you’re talking drawing specifically I think it’s worthwhile to get those quality materials, like if you can afford them and you can provide them to your kids I think they’re really worthwhile. Because if you’ve been looking at drawings for a while, if you’ve been making drawings for a while, just even the subtleties between like you said a 2B, a 4B, a 6B, like if you can impart that knowledge to your kids and to show them, hey, here’s this small difference, then all of a sudden they have that in their repertoire, they can create more of those subtle shifts, they can create those small things that are going to take their drawings to the next level. I love having quality materials, both paper and pencils or whatever else you may be drawing with and I think that’s worthwhile.

Andrew: I’m going to hit you with something that most people won’t think about because I’m living this nightmare. You’re ready for this? Quality paper, great. Quality pencils, great. Forget all that. Give me quality pencils sharpeners. The pencil sharpeners that I have in my room are pure garbage, just garbage. Then it’s like I got to buy these kind of cheap crappy things that can be on the table so then if my students break them, lose them, steal them, whatever, I’m not out much money. But man, a sharp pencil. When I teach drawing I try to teach what I would call repeatable rules. Sometimes I say it’s you can regurgitate it because it’s like a sound byte and I always tell kids, “Sharp pencils make sharp drawings.” If you’re trying to shade and you-

Tim: That is the cheesiest thing I’ve ever heard.

Andrew: No, that’s not the cheesiest thing. I could come up with way cheesier. But come on. Sharp pencils make sharp drawings. It’s good because you, we’ve all seen kids who are like trying to shade, and of course they’re trying to shade something that has texture and needs line variety. Like, “Hey, my hair doesn’t look good on this drawing,” and they’re just drawing with the most dull pencil you’ve ever seen, like literally the wood from the pencil is scratching the graphite off the paper kid. How do you not see that? Getting a good pencil sharpener, like some steel ones, some really good ones, that’s what I would, that’s really important to me.

Tim: Yeah, I didn’t even think about that so that is a really good addition. Let’s talk also erasers. Are you a white clean eraser guy? Are you a gray gummy eraser? Do you like the old school pink ones? What do you have in your closet? What would you have if  budget were no issue?

Andrew: Great. Why don’t you guess, why don’t you guess what I am? Just knowing me.

Tim: That’s tough. Oh man. I feel like you … like the dark gray gummy erasers.

Andrew: You would be wrong.

Tim: Oh man.

Andrew: I don’t even. I don’t even get those out. You want to know. You know why because as soon as you get out the kneaded erasers kids are just making phallic symbols out of them. That’s all they’re doing. They’re just like sculpting them, they’re throwing them, they’re doing all that stuff. I don’t even mess around with that. All I do is the white erasers. Give me a nice white Alvin with the fine tip. That’s the best. I like that stuff.

Tim: Yeah, those are good. I like the Prismacolor Magic Rubs. Those are pretty fantastic. They come in just like little rectangle blocks that are, I don’t know, probably three inches long. But I actually cut them into four pieces just so they’re smaller and you have more corners to erase fine points with. I don’t know if kids eat erasers or how they disappear like they do, but they make them last a lot longer if you have them cut into a bunch of pieces. But following up on that and things disappearing, like what does your organization look like for pencils, for erasers, for other materials that you have?

Andrew: Well, I don’t know what it is. You’re right man. It’s like the bane of every art teacher is sharpies and erasers. It’s like where the heck did those things go. I mean I could easily if I’m not diligent I could burn through 20 sharpies a week. It’s just like, “You guys, I just put out 20 sharpies. Where the heck did these things go?” But I don’t know, for the pencils, like the 2B, 4B, 6B pencils, like those aren’t the … I don’t know, for whatever reason those things don’t go missing in my room. I will put out a little pencil box at every table of communal students of four to six students and they just use them there.

I put a couple erasers in there. I put a couple blending stamps in there. I put some sand paper in there. With the blending stamps and the erasers I do replenish those and I feel like I’m probably replenishing them too much. It’s just like once every two weeks we have a heart to heart conversation like, you guys need to stop breaking my blending stamps or wasting these erasers, and as the semester has gone on I’ve seen less and less waste.

So I don’t know if just being like a new teacher in this district, like it’s taken a while for them to get like … I’m not playing when I’m saying, “Don’t waste my erasers and don’t waste my blending stamps.” There’s certain stuff that you just got to keep under locking key and just like, “No, I will dish this paper out to you when I think you’re good and ready, because this is like the good stuff and I’m not giving this to just anybody. I want to see your sketch. I want to know that your composition, like you’ve worked out some bugs before like I give you the good stuff.” I do. I kind of keep some stuff hidden and some stuff is communal.

Tim: Yeah, same. Most of mine is communal. I have a separate basket for 2B and for 4B and for 6B and then a basket for erasers and then a basket for blending stamps. I feel like that really helps keep things organized, everything is on the counter where kids can see it, it’s easy for them to put it away. I think just keeping it organized with signs and pictures so it’s easy for kids to both gather and put away materials is the way to go. Now I feel like this is the longest conversation we’ve ever had so we-

Andrew: About drawing.

Tim: Need to wrap it up.

Andrew: We’re talking about drawing.

Tim: I know. It’s important stuff. But last question for you. Besides sharpeners and pencils and erasers and blending stamps, what are you other favorite materials, like what do you feel like kids need to use and what do you try and expose them to in your drawing class?

Andrew: Oh, that’s a good one. Okay, two outside the box materials that I think … I realized my very first teaching job 12 years ago I held up a stick of charcoal and the kids were like, “What is that?” “You guys have, even like tenth graders, eleventh graders, you never worked with charcoal?”

Tim: Yikes, yeah.

Andrew: I know. I felt like, “Okay, we’re doing charcoal like right now.” I think it’s a great material. Kids are super frustrated by it at first because it’s like super dark and it doesn’t lend itself to drawing in a linear fashion. It lends itself to drawing with more like chunks and shapes of value and they got to think a little differently. I love a big old stick of compressed charcoal. Then my favorite jam is India ink in a bamboo brush. There is something magical when you show kids how to use a bamboo brush and how long you can make that long line last and the variety of the line. I can make it be the width of a couple hairs on this bamboo brush, or I can press really hard to make it be super fat. That’s just really cool. Those are my two favorite kind of outside the box ones.

Tim: Some really cool effects. I could talk about this for another entire episode, but colored pencils are, oh my god, I love colored pencils so much. We may actually have to record a whole podcast … I don’t know. Would anybody listen to an entire podcast on colored pencils? No, skeptical. I’m skeptical.

Andrew: Only you. Just you. You would like listen to it and be like, “That was a good point I just made there about Prismacolor colored pencils.” See, I hate colored pencils. I reluctantly break them out for students because here’s my jam with colored pencils. I know we’re going super long, but I don’t even care right now. When kids get colored pencils, and it’s been my experience, they look at those and they say, “Oh, I got this, like I know what colored pencils are like because I’ve been using these since I was like in second grade,” and they don’t approach them in my classroom anyway, unless I really coach them up with the care and attention that they need to.

It’s like, “No, you have to go the same direction. You have to lay like the same amount of pressure. You can’t just like whip through this thing.” It’s like magically I’ll give that same kid who doesn’t care about direction or pressure some oil pastels and all of the sudden it’s like, “Oh, I better slow down and pay attention,” and it’s like I don’t know what it is about colored pencils that lends itself to kids just being like, “I got it, I know how to use this,” and they don’t.

Tim: Yeah and it’s tough to teach. It takes a lot of patience. But I do love them. Well, I’ll just, I’ll sit in my corner and record that episode all by myself and then leave it there. All right, cool. Well, I think we better wrap this up. Hopefully people don’t get tired of listening to us. I think this will be the longest episode we’ve ever done. But I feel like we’ve covered everything that we needed to do and it truly was a deep dive into drawing. Andrew, thank you very much.

Andrew: Hey, my pleasure man. Thanks a lot.

Tim: All right. We’ll talk to you later.

Wow. That is definitely the longest interview we’ve ever done on here. I hope it’s not too much for you, but feel free to let us know either way, and more importantly what I really hope is that we’re able to share some insight into what has worked in our classrooms and hopefully given you a couple of ideas for what you can do in your classroom as well.

Before I wrap things up though I want to tell you about my all time favorite AOE course which is The Studio Drawing course. Hey listen. I know you’re already interested in drawing because you’ve just sat through a 35 minute podcast about it, but this course is exactly what you want. It helps take your teaching to the next level when it comes to drawing. Not only are you going to make all kinds of instructional tools and spend a lot of time thinking about how you teach drawing. You’re also going to have the opportunity to create a lot of your own work. It’s an eight week course which gives you a ton of time to produce some really high quality pieces of your own, along with all of the work that you do for your classroom. Summer is the perfect time to dive into this. Hey, there are new sections opening in May, June, July, and August, so check out theartofed.com/courses to find out more about The Studio Drawing course.

Like I said though, I hope that Andrew and I gave you little bit of insight into what it looks like in our classrooms when drawing is happening. Maybe you take some ideas, either from this episode or the articles this week on The Art of Ed or anywhere else and take those ideas back to your classroom. Hey, try out something new, try out something different. Change it up, try to do something you’re already doing but do it better and let yourself be inspired. Because when you’re open to inspiration, you’re open to new ideas, and you’re open to change, that’s when you’re really going to improve your teaching.

Art Ed Radio is produced by The Art of Education with audio engineering from Michael Crocker. Remember that you can sign up for our email list at artedradio.com. Make sure you check out Drawing Week at The Art of Ed because there is a lot of great stuff on there every day this week. Lastly, we always love to hear from you, so send us your questions, comments, anything else you want to share at Radio Guys at theartofed.com. A lot of feedback came in last week with the graffiti episode with Matt Christenson, so thanks to all of you who wrote in with both comments and critiques. We really do appreciate hearing from you. If you missed that episode, make sure you go back and check it out. It was a good one. As we always say thank you for listening.

2 weeks ago


  • Barbara

    I’d listen to an entire podcast about prismacolor pencils. Do you ever use the sticks?

    • Timothy Bogatz

      Yes! I love the Art Stix. They’re terrible for detail, but they can be AMAZING when you’re working in big spaces.
      I’ll try to convince Andrew that we need a colored pencil episode :)

  • I really appreciated the depth of the podcast this week, and didn’t find it too long at all. Looking forward to more like this! Count me as another who would listen to a Prismacolor podcast.