History Works  Art Sessions

Art Sessions at the Harlin Museum, Nov. 1-3, 2006

by teaching artist Pat Hight

Our goal for the art activity portion of History Works was to introduce the children to the materials and techniques that L.L. Broadfoot used in 1930 to 1942 when he produced more than 130 portraits of then-living early pioneers of the Ozarks.

The art sessions during History Works focused on students learning some new drawing skills using charcoal pencils and charcoal sticks. The students learned:
* about different grades of charcoal that give lighter or darker lines and tones.
* how to hold the charcoal, which is softer than graphite, and avoid pressing too hard and breaking the charcoal.
* about erasing and blending charcoal to create tones from gray to black, and the usefulness of that skill in creating forms that appear to have volume.
* the basic proportions of the human face necessary to create believable portraits.

The children had two sessions in art. In the first session they were taught charcoal drawing techniques and put them to use in a drawing of a pumpkin, and in drawing each other's portraits. In the second art session the children viewed a selection of the Broadfoot portraits and selected an element of their choice and copied it (see student charcoal drawings ). Some of these drawings are displayed in the museum next to the portrait from which they were copied.

Teachers were invited to draw and provided with materials in both sessions. Students and teachers both enjoyed drawing and all worked intensely and quietly and many produced excellent drawings. A selection of work from both sessions were displayed at the Harlin Museum in their own section of the Broadfoot exhibit.

Read the full Art Sessions report (PDF)

Text by Pat Hight. Photos by Wanda Byrd, BWEP Education Specialist and Jude Duffel, Missouri Master Naturalist.

History Works is supported by a generous private gift and a cadre of community volunteers. Collaborating groups include the Harlin Museum, the Bryant Watershed Education Project and the West Plains Council on the Arts.

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