Thursday, October 25, 2018

Mannequin Drawing Challenge: Do you use these in your art room?

Middle School Visual Art students created these drawing from observation. Students
first posed these figures and created a series of sketches using sighting methods 
to help guide them in proportion and angle of the models. This was a great way to introduce other drawing units with human figures. I feel most all students were successful in this art lesson approach. Take a look  below and see what you think...
Links to other art lessons like this one:

Do you know the history of mannequins? Check out this blog post. Link above, but I cut and pasted it below.

Wooden Drawing Mannequin 

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This is a 13.5 inch wooden drawing mannequin that I bought from IKEA in 2011. The mannequin is made completely out of wood and the individual pieces of the mannequin are put together with glue and screws that come in various sizes. The mannequin seems to be made out of twenty-eight wooden parts; the head, chest, hips, thighs, legs from the knee down, feet, upper arm, lower arm, and all the balls that connect to each limb allowing movement for the mannequin.
This mannequin has many purposes but the initial function and use of this mannequin is that it is used as a figure drawing aid. The mannequin allows for movement and therefore can be placed in different poses/ positions. Mannequins in general are often used by artists, tailors, designers, dressmakers, etc. and it is not uncommon for mannequins to be used to display clothing (as you would see in any type of clothing store). According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a mannequin is “A life-size or partial representation of the human body, used for the fitting or displaying of clothes; a dummy. “ It is “a jointed model of the human body used by artists, especially to demonstrate the arrangement of drapery. Also called lay figure.”  The word originated form the Middle Dutch where it was called manikin or little man.
In another wordpress blog called “The Madness of Mannequins,” Emily and Per Ola dAulair go into the history of mannequins. Apparently, mannequins dated all the way back to 1350B.C. where it might have been the world’s first dress form. In the tomb of King Tut, an armless, legless, wooden torso is found exactly in the pharaoh’s measurements and it stands next to a chest full of the pharaoh’s clothing. The blog article states that although these “fake people” have been around in children’s toys, artist’s figures, wax figures, and tailor dummies, the European fashion doll was actually the original version of the modern mannequin. “In 1391, Charles IV of Spain shipped a life-sized doll, dressed in the style of the French court, to the Queen of England as part of ongoing peace negotiations. Henry IV dispatched miniature, elegantly-attired dolls to the de Medici women to update them on British trends. And Marie Antoinette kept her mother and sisters apprised of the latest vogues at Versailles with the elaborately clothed figures she regularly sent them.
Although I don’t know exactly when the wooden mannequin I have was made, the sticker on the bottom of the mannequin indicates it was made in China.
For me, the uses of this mannequin have been plentiful, although I have yet to use it as a drawing model.  Its main use for me is as a form of entertainment for friends who visit my room. Since dormitory rooms are quite small the only place guests can sit on is my bed. My table happens to be right at the foot of my bed and so my mannequin is easily accessible to anyone sitting on my bed. The mannequin is perfect to play with during idle conversation and it can strangely be a good way to express emotion. You can make it seem like it is jumping with joy, it can be hunched over with depression, you can make it dance, and kick, sit, and it can strike incredible poses that defy gravity. It can also be a hanger for my jewelry, it can hold my bag of chocolates or snacks, and it can even hold bottled drinks.
The mannequin has been manipulated so much that I no longer have any idea what position each piece was in when I bought it. The chest and the hips have a flat surface to indicate the back and front, but I no longer know which is which. The joints are also a bit off and it takes a bit of jiggling for the limbs to move in the correct direction.
The history of mannequins:

Why use mannequins to teacher drawing of the human figure?

Strike a Pose...with that wooden mannequin that is in storage in your art room...lets see it!
Wooden mannequins are great for drawing quick poses, but they can't hold all the poses you may want. The secret is to use them for lots of practice drawing so that you build a model of the mannequin inside your head. Then, with practice, you will be able to draw a pose from any angle.

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