“Too Hard” for Junior-High Art

My students whine sometimes: “It’s too hard!”

I notice that sometimes projects for junior high art are a little silly and watered down, as if young people can’t really do “hard work.”

However, I believe that with good instruction, young teens can do “hard stuff,” even grid drawings like these.

These are gridded drawings from eighth and ninth graders. Yes, it was a new thing and kind of “hard.” We drew our own grids and used photos covered with plastic grids to find the areas to shade, square by square.

Yes, there was a good deal of whining–BUT…everybody eventually made a good grid drawing, shading values, square by square.

It’s about patience and good instruction. I walk around the room and demonstrate, encourage, nag if you will! and soon enough, these youngsters know how to draw their own grids, starting with a big X in the center of the page, and they know how to capture values.

We shouldn’t underestimate the capacity of our kids. It’s really not too hard.


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