The three artistic pillars of Waldorf homeschooling are the same as those found in the grades of the Waldorf school: drawing, painting, and modeling. Yet I so often hear that “all we can get through is the Main Lesson” and that doesn’t seem to include drawing, painting, or modeling, unless the child is drawing and summarizing on the second or third day of a two or three day rhythm.
I know this is the time of year many homeschoolers take stock of what they have been doing during the school year, and make plans or tweak plans for the rest of the school year. Therefore, my plea is for drawing, modeling and painting to be the vehicle through which you teach, and to always include exercises in the fundamentals of these three areas as part of the Main Lesson as you see fit during the week. Many of the exercises for drawing, painting and modeling are in fact the metamorphosis of archetypal geometric forms and how one moves between these forms.
In drawing, we have form drawing and freehand geometric drawing, but we also have artistic drawing and how we change the things we see, that are three dimensional, into two dimensional shapes and transform these shapes. For example, how does one draw a sphere (circle in two dimensions) and change this to an oval and then to an egg shape and so on? In drawing, we also have the added dimension of color. How do we move within the color wheel to create color bands, shades of coloring?
In painting, we have a series of color exercises without form that eventually help led us into the creation of paintings of scenes and portraits. We can take a shade of red, a shade of yellow and a shade of blue and create variations of every color the eye can see.
In modeling, perhaps the most unexplored practical territory in Waldorf Education, we also can work through series of archetypal geometric shapes. How do we move from the sphere to a three-dimensional oval to other shapes? In this medium, we have the added challenge of warmth to stimulate that which we are working with, and we have the other dimension of the possibility of three dimensional asymmetry or symmetry within the modeling material. One book that has changed the way I looked at modeling is Hella Loewe’s “Basic Sculptural Modeling: Developing the Will by Working With Pure Forms in the First Three Grades.” You can find it on the AWNSA website.
Many blessings to you!