I teach a variety of Art classes and throughout lockdown, I know we have all experienced the same frustrations of communication; fussing with the video, having the mute button turned on when trying to speak or even worse, mistakenly having the camera or audio turned on when having a private conversation! However, my immediate challenge on the transition to online teaching was obvious. As a visual instructor the students became blind to my demonstrations.
I am a great believer in the idea that you can learn as much from a picture as the written word. Seeing someone doing something, is, I imagine, the way we started to learn, from watching someone create a stone axe and copying and certainly when teaching I find it a powerful learning tool.
In my Architecture, Graphic Design and Illustration A Level classes I like to demonstrate with quick sketches. During the lockdown I initially felt very limited in being able to use illustration to explain what I was doing. At first I was simply holding my sketches close up to the camera on the top of the computer. This felt clunky, both as an instructor and for the students as they couldn’t always see a clear image. So I started using the HUE HD camera from my HUE Animation Studio kit to film myself sketching and this opened up a world of teaching opportunities. The camera allows live-streaming of my hand in action so it became far easier for the students to see what I was trying to teach in real-time.
Drawing and sketching are often the simplest and most efficient way of getting an understanding of the mechanics of the human body in Life Drawing, an appreciation of how to construct the interior of a Japanese house or being able to sketch a medieval courtyard. I now use the camera in all of my lessons and the students love it! It helps to create far more engaging, effective online lessons, which are not overwhelming, breaking a complex drawing into stepping stones, simplified bitesize steps. The camera really helps to create meaningful and exciting lessons so that the students look forward to logging in for their remote learning classes and make quick progress.
I also use the HUE camera to zoom in on sections in books. I often reference my own textbook, The Field Guide to Drawing and Sketching Animals, when teaching comparative anatomy. I was excited to discover that I could successfully stream visuals from the book on the desk in front of me whilst also sharing a video of a pony at the Royal Academy Life class. This meant I was able to show my students where the muscles were to help with grooves and shading. I plan to use this technique as an upcoming guest lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College because I believe it will allow the students to get more value from an online session.
Since writing this article, Tim received a HUE HD Pro and got in touch to let us know how it’s been going with the new camera! 😊
Check out Tim’s beautiful new illustrations below and, if you are feeling in a creative mood, pick up your pencils and follow along with Tim’s awesome tutorial for sketching, J M Turner’s house in 2 point perspective!