This assignment forces the student to draw from "general to specific" rather than spreading a drawing across the page. After an introduction to the painter/printmaker Pierre Bonnard a Bonnard photograph of a woman bathing is displayed. However, the photo is altered: It is blurred and shown upside down. Students copy the mysterious image which throughout the slide show will come more and more into focus.
Every few minutes, a new slide appears showing the Bonnard photo in greater focus and detail. The student modifies their drawing to reflect the new slide. At last, the students view the photo right-side-up and perfectly focused. When they look at their own drawings, students are amazed when they step back from their work and see that they have created a complete statement, including a figure.
There is an ease to this process, as students focus on shape, direction of lines and relative values rather than “the head” or “the hand”. It’s an excellent assignment to remind students of the importance of forgetting what you “know” about a subject and drawing and painting what you actually see. I encourage my students to develop their pieces from “General to Specific”. This assignment gives the student direct experience in understanding the value of this approach.
This assignment features a nude photo and paintings of nudes, so it may not be for your class. I will soon upload other projection assignments that feature landscapes or clothed figures, so if the nude model is a concern, I suggest you look at those products.