Kind of a neat article about Ed Emberley, writer of children's drawing books, in the Boston Globe.
The idea for the drawing books had its germination in the early 1950s at the Massachusetts School of Art, where the budding artist was required to draw countless variations on simple geometric figures. One day in class, an instructor claimed he could draw a face in two seconds.
"There's nothing more cocky than a sophomore in art school," Emberley jokes. "I could paint a nude from a model like nothing." But when the instructor made a curling line that went from nose to crown to chin, adding a dot for an eye and a line for a mouth, the student found himself smitten.
"I couldn't help but smile," he says. "That's magic."
In time, he came to believe that there was no less intrinsic value to the symbolism of a stick figure than an immaculately rendered life study.
I have to agree with that last sentence: Surely concise expression of the essentials of a subject is a worthy artistic goal. Anybody out there ever use Emberley's books, either as a fun activity or as bona fide homeschool art? I've been intrigued by them but never actually bought any.