Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why Homeschooling Is So Exciting For Me Right Now, Part 4: Art

"[C]hildren learn by example. Most importantly home-school teachers must serve, through their own behavior regarding their own work, as good examples for their students."-[Source]

I had art classes in high school that thoroughly engrained in me that pretty much everyone, myself included, can learn to draw decently. Maybe not as exceptionally as those with a gift for it, but still well. Since I have not practiced, however, I have lost all those skills I once had.

Kyrie, who appears to have some talent at drawing, received several art books that I have been using for her art curriculum. One of them comes with a DVD and introduces the kind of serious art techniques that I learned in high school. I decided it would be a good thing for me to re-learn along with her. So I bought myself a sketch book, and started practicing along with the DVD.

Did I mention how much I like journals? That applies to sketch books too.

Then one day as I was doing my regular Scripture reading, I happened to be at the passage where Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey. As I read this familiar passage, one verse stuck out that I do not remember noticing before.

Picture the scene for a moment. Jesus has just told two of his disciples to go into the town ahead of them and bring him the donkey colt they would find there. They do, indeed, find a donkey colt. When they start untying it, the owners naturally object. The disciples give the explanation that Jesus instructed them to give - "The Master needs it." - and the owners, for whatever unfathomable reason, accept that.

"Then they led the animal to Jesus, and laying their cloaks on it, helped him mount."[Luke 19:35]

All sorts of things are going through my mind at this point - Why did they lay their cloaks on the donkey? Was it dirty? Do cloaks make it easier to ride without a saddle? Were the owners already fans of Jesus? Did they know who the disciples meant by "Master"? - and so on. But one part in particular arrested me.

The disciples helped him mount.

What does it look like for the disciples to help Jesus mount? Why did they help him? Could he not do it by himself? How do you climb on a donkey when stirrups won't be invented for a few hundred more years, anyhow? Looking at the Greek translations, it sounds even stronger than just helping him mount - the disciples 'put Jesus on the donkey'. It makes Jesus sound almost like a helpless child, being lifted onto the donkey.

The visual on this so captured my mind, that I thought it would make a great painting. It's not a moment that I remember any artist capturing before.

If only some artist would draw it.

If only.

And then, of course, the thought percolated through my head, that perhaps I could draw it. Like, for real, not just as an egoistic fantasizing.

So I got out the sketch book and started blocking out what the figures might look like.

I don't have a good idea of what donkeys look like, so I found a picture online to copy.

I need a lot more practice with figures, clearly. But it was so much fun to do, and I am excited at what I might draw in the future.


  1. looks like a good drawing to me. this link shows a book i'm going to get from the library about drawing.


    i thought it might be fun to check out b/c nata loves art so much and see if it would be worth owning.

  2. Looking inside the book at Amazon's preview, it looks pretty awesome. I even did that little intro-exercise thing (where you draw a scene with a house, a person, and so on). It turned out better than I was expecting.

  3. Oh, and sometime you might enjoy this art series from the library.