It’s back to virtual coffee and cake again. I should be used to this. For years, my husband’s Dutch uncle used to amuse and outrage me by sending smiling pictures of himself from coffee houses in the Hague, eating yummy apple cake. I was reminded of it last Friday, when we had a family Lock-down Party and spent a good deal of time, scrutinising the deliciousness of other people’s party snacks. But when we weren’t groaning about the food we couldn’t share, we played a very good game – an Arty Game that given the current situation, is IDEAL for group video chat or conferencing apps, like Zoom:
Everyone has pencil and paper. Someone picks a subject, for example a rabbit, and draws it so no-one else can see it using basic geometric shapes – circles, triangles etc. Next they describe their subject, shape-by-shape to the others, who attempt to draw it themselves.
The first to recognise what it is, holds up their picture for confirmation. If they’re right (after all the drawings have been shared) they get to choose and describe the next subject. You really do not have to be good at drawing to play this game. And if the results go off piste, which happens all the time with us – so much the funnier. And it really doesn’t matter if your descriptive skills are at the beginner stage. Use your hands and fingers to help you.
Cartoonists are famous for breaking down their subjects into basic geometric shapes and the internet is full of examples such as this one at: https://www.how-to-draw-funny- cartoons.com/draw-animals.html which readily lend themselves to Arty Games and to helping budding artists get started.
Timo character Design by Asif Rahimmoglu, based on a squidgy egg.
Whether you’re interested in cartoons or being able to draw realistically, geometric forms, cones, cylinders, balls, eggs etc will help you see what you’re looking at and others to see what you saw.
And if you want to study the subject further, there’s a brilliant book called Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters by Robert Beverley Hale, which explains how famous artists used geometric shapes to analyse anatomy and to organise lights and shadows in figure drawing and portraiture. On the whole, I buy art books for the pictures, but this one’s well worth reading if you’re keen on figure or life drawing. I learned a lot from it.
Plus: HOT FROM THE PRESS! Many more ARTY GAMES can be downloaded free from the local FirstSite Gallery’s website.
Sign up to their mailing list at www.firstsite.uk/newsletter to find out when they’re being shared (my own first pack arrived in my email box today). Famous artists – Anthony Gormley, Gillian Wearing, Idris Khan etc have designed fun activities for you to make and do at home and the website’s adding more artist’s designs every week. You can afterwards share your artworks on their Online Studio. Anyone can post their work there.
Just make sure it’s original work and not something you’ve copied from anything made by a living artist.
To view a full list of our online course, including art & creative, visit our website.
By Art Tutor, Martina Weatherly.