The Creative Process

Some students need a bit more help to get where they want to be, skill wise, and where I want them to go. Here is one example of working through the creative process.

This was a first attempt, rough draft plan of the landscape assignment. When I conferenced with this student about it, he didn’t really want help or reference pictures and planned to just stick with his idea. I told him that it was my job to help him get better, but we were running out of time so we could talk tomorrow.

First Attempt Rough Draft

The next day I was absent. He completed this final draft in the period I was gone.


Second Attempt

The next day, we had a longer conference. We reviewed the concept of foreground, middle ground and background and I gave him some reference pictures to use. While his chalk effort above IS a landscape, we were also working at showing depth. When I talked to him about depth, he agreed that his artwork didn’t show that and he was willing to give it another try.

This is my post-it note mini lesson on foreground, middle ground and background. that I put in his sketchbook.

This is my post-it note mini lesson on foreground, middle ground and background that I put in his sketchbook.

I gave him a color photo from my drawing center and a more simple line drawing from the computer to use as reference pictures to go back and try a new rough draft.


Here are some reference pictures he used.

He came back with his rough draft and didn’t like his trees, so we printed out a little “HOW TO” make pine trees and he went back to work on better trees.


Second Rough Draft

 He felt good about drawing something that looked “real.” So he got started on his new final draft.

Final draft, round 2

Final draft, round 2

After he finished this one, we talked about how much he had improved. We also talked about how he could still improve. I also asked him what exactly helped him be better at this one than his first several attempts. “Well, you” he replied. What about me? I returned. He said, “explaining the foreground stuff, printing the pictures and especially the how to draw a tree one.” While this final draft still has a lot of things that could be better, it was a huge step for him. I did ask him, if he had to do it again…what would he change? He thought he would like to try it with paint and to do a better job with coloring and add more trees, maybe an animal.

He turned in his now finished final draft, feeling satisfied. He asked what to do with the chalk drawing. I told him he could take it home or he could recycle it. He wanted to give it to me. I told him I would love to take a picture of it to show his progress between the two and then I would get to keep it forever. Then he moved on to drawing something new and the process starts again.