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Drawing from the Imagination

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

Ages 6-9

Drawing is often our first medium of creative expression.  This is not a class in instructions on rendering objects from observation.  Rather, its premise is that children can enjoy and benefit from drawing regardless of their rendering skill levels or the production of images drawn from life. Class time is balanced between structured exercises and periods of free expression. If we’re not trying to render “realistically,” there is no right or wrong way to draw. It’s a fun activity that can lead to unexpected and delightful results. In this class we will
draw from imagination with a range of materials, from crayon and pencil to markers and ball point pens on paper.


Our goal is conscious visual improvisation informed by a learned and
practiced vocabulary of forms.

In the first half hour the learners practice refining their abilities to draw basic shapes (like playing scales when learning to play music) with ballpoint pen in lined composition books that I provide. I collect the pens and books and bring them to class each week.

The learners take the books home at the completion of the 10-week semester. They get a 10-minute break in the playground followed by a presentation of my own drawings made by using the shapes they are learning. In the last 45 minutes of the class, the kids are free to draw whatever they wish, using colored pencils, crayons, markers, or watercolor.  They take their finished drawings home.

Our plan for SPRING is as follows, but is subject to change based on the interests of the students.

Week One:
We start with simple, basic shapes drawn at small scale with
ballpoint pen on lined paper. Circles that become eyes. Noses. Lips. The shape of the head.

Week Two:
We begin by reviewing and practicing lines and shapes drawn in week one. Next, we introduce abstraction, first by showing examples;
then, drawing abstract designs and selecting shapes to fill with a colored pencils.


Week Three:
We begin with review and practice. Straight lines versus curved lines. Working with triangles. Analyzing relationships among and between shapes.


Week Four:
Review and practice previous lessons. Designing patterns with repeating shapes and colors. Importance of “how” we draw, rather than “what” we draw. Attitudes and behavior: Drawing with: Attention, Concentration, Relaxation; Refinement and Precision.
Discuss these ideas and apply them in practice.

Week Five:
Structured warm-up exercise.
Individual review and instruction.

Becoming aware of more nuanced issues, such as how much pressure to apply with pen or pencil when beginning a drawing. Allowing space for additional elements in a drawing; and the option of correcting work to refine it.


Week Six
Structured warm-up exercise.
Introduction of new materials:
Charcoal (with gloves). Exploration of how different materials feel in the hand, and how they enable different results on paper. Structured “work” followed by free “play.” Using fixative to preserve finished pieces.

Week Seven
Structured warm-up exercise.
Introduction of new materials Ink and watercolor on absorbent paper towels or napkins. Presentation of examples.
Exploration of different ways of holding brushes and striking the paper to produce a variety of visual results.

Week Eight
Structured warm-up exercise.
Introduction of mixed media. Combining ink, pencil, charcoal, and watercolor in one drawing/painting. Individual review and instruction.


Week Nine
Structured warm-up exercise.
Review techniques and material applications of weeks seven and eight. Free drawing and individual instruction.

Week Ten
Structured warm-up exercise.
Review and present work for in-class exhibition.
Discussion of “What’s next?”

Stuart Frolick earned a B.A. degree in Philosophy at Ithaca College where he had his first experience teaching as a T.A. He taught philosophy at the Community School of Herricks High School and taught Illustration at ArtCenter College of Design, where he was vice president–creative director. At California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Frolick was director–editorial services (2005-2020.)
Throughout his career Frolick has also maintained a studio art practice in photography, collage, and gestural drawing. His visual work has appeared in Idea magazine, American Illustration, and Black & White and Color magazine. His written profiles of other creative professionals were published in Graphis and Black & White magazine for which he is a contributing editor. Frolick is the father of three children, all of whom created sketchbooks and photographs with him when they were young.

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Stuart Frolick

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