Bad art lesson bin. Room 101. Art lessons to banish.



  • I thought I’d start a bad art lesson bin. Just a fun way to share the frustrations of bad art lessons we’ve had in the past and get them off our chest once and for all.
    I can’t believe how much I’ve learnt with svs and how much more I have to learn with them, I’m very grateful. (I’ve just discovered the @davidhohn ‘s lessons too). So I guess this is a bit like gratitude by contrast, showing just how crazy some art lessons have been elsewhere.

    My Personal favourite bad art lesson that was inflicted on us was:

    DRAW THE TASTE OF COTTON WOOL 😳

    Not perspective, lighting or characters no. Cotton flipping wool.

    Please share your own (or feel free to argue the toss about this cotton freakin wool lesson)


  • Pro

    @peteolczyk LOLLL cotton wool? That's random!

    Once we were told to take 1 meter of chicken wire, make it into the biggest shape we could manage, cover it in paper maché then paint it. All the "things" we made were indistinguishable blob shapes. Worst thing is this took 2 whole lessons because we had to wait for the paper maché to dry. The teacher hung a clothes line from one side of the classroom to the other and hung up our giant hors d'oeuvres to dry. It was like walking around a meat locker with giant game hanging from the ceiling. Next class we couldn't figure out which one had been ours so just picked a random one and painted it. When they were done, our teacher had them put up in a giant pile in the school entry hall as a sort of art installation. The next day I was eating lunch in the hall and saw the football team walk by, and start throwing themselves into the pile as if in a ball pit. It took about 5 minutes for all the projects to be flattened like pancakes to the floor and almost nothing was left. Unable to tell who did what, the teacher gave everyone a B and called it a day. The whole thing was WEIRD. This was not middle school, this was college. In that same class, we had to do macaroni collage once.


  • SVS OG

    @peteolczyk oh, dear! 😂😂😂 what did they expect you to learn by doing that?



  • @NessIllustration oh that’s brilliant Ness 😂. That did make me chuckle. I wish I was there just for the comedy value. I can’t see Jake Parker ever ever making a tutorial based on chicken wire or macaroni. I think we’re quite safe.🤣



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz I honestly don’t know. I tried, I really did. I started to think I was missing the point and they told us it would all make sense later on. It never made sense.
    And, It STILL doesn’t make sense.
    We just wasted a lot of ink, paper and time trying to solve an impossibly abstract problem.


  • SVS OG

    My art 102 class in college was definitely geared toward contemporary/conceptual art rather than technical skills and was a requirement to take more advanced art classes like figure drawing, etc. I actually thought it was a fun, thoughtful class- but looking back I'm not sure if it was worth the money for what I actually wanted to learn. For one lesson we had to take an everyday item and make it out of an unexpected material to invoke the viewer to sort of visualize what it might feel like to interact with the object. One example of a famous art work that does this is a tea cup covered in fur. The viewer in their mind feels what it must be like to feel fur against their lips. 😀 What I turned in was a jock strap and g-string made out of sandpaper. Lol.



  • Oh college art classes. Some of them were fun, but yeah... probably not worth the money. I don't even remember what the assignment was, but there was one piece I did in art 101 or something like that where I moved my entire bedroom (freshman dorms at the time) into a parking space in the parking lot for a couple of hours. Yeah... At least it got better after that.



  • @robgale 😂that’s brilliant. Did you sit around and lounge about there for a while, just to play the part and make it real.



  • @TessaW ouuuuch. Just The thought of it Hurts 😂.
    I vaguely remember a lesson like that. I definitely remember the furry cup.
    I also remember someone transforming a toilet into a Mock paper mache sort of fruit machine.



  • This thread is reminding me of what I used to say in college:

    "Those who can't, teach. Those who can't teach, teach college."



  • I have to say two:

    the perspective final work where you don’t draw an environment with what you learn in one or two point perspective but just a large version of squares and rectangles in that perspective. Nothing of apply this to your drawing just show in large scale you can.

    I got this in both high school and college, draw what you see. I see a tree. Draw that. But how. Look at it and draw it. But how.......and then I’d asked myself why I paid for my own tools and paid to sit in class and have the teacher say draw what you see. I could have failed at that at home $7000+ richer or of How To Draw Everything class was back then been so far ahead. Even if they had said something like look at the shapes and forms, from larger shapes to smaller details. But no just draw what you see. I see a tree!!!

    My vent is complete!



  • @chrisaakins I’ve heard that saying too. There are some really memorable art teachers out there too. My first real art teacher, Mr Mills was an amazingly compassionate man. He had to be to have the patience to teach us lot. He was also great at pen ink work, like you Chris. We had whole lessons on cross hatching, mark making and the nuts and bolts of perspective.
    He also really twisted my arm into having a go at painting too.
    No cotton wool with him. It was mostly buildings, factories and boats in pen.



  • @Heather-Boyd that sounds like they didn’t have any useful advice at all. You wouldn’t get away with teaching any other subject like that.
    How do I drive this car?
    Just drive to where you want to go 😬🙈



  • @peteolczyk Haha. Yeah. I had all my stuff out there! So I wasn't about to just leave it!


  • Pro

    Haha you guys' stories are wild!! Love it!

    I had the same experience as @Heather-Boyd when I studied Visual Arts. I'd go to class and the teacher would say "Today, we're going to do a painting. Go wild!" The other students loved it, but I always thought to myself "I could have done this at home. I thought I'd learn like... actual techniques and stuff". After 2 years of that, I had enough! I heard there was a Film Animation program in another college in my city, and I applied simply on the basis that I heard it was an incredibly difficult program. The teaching was DAY AND NIGHT. It was focused on teaching us techniques, softwares, principles, and prepare us for work in a studio. Not all teachers and/or programs are created equal, sadly!



  • @NessIllustration haha I shouldn't read this thread while eating mini chocolate chips, dangerously funny LOL!

    I can believe it was college not middle school. My first college art class made me drop my art minor, and SVS brought me back into the artist fold like the lost sheep I was.



  • My most memorable "bad art lesson" involved one bottom half (legs) of a woman's mannequin upside down in a trash can with a wheel...I don't remember much about that class besides wasting a lot of paper doing speed drawings that we were only given seconds to complete (to capture the sweet lines and spirit of the image or something like that).

    That was college. A huge contrast to my middle school art teacher, who was fantastic at critiquing my drawings so they'd improve, helping me really see what I was looking at by pointing out details I missed and explaining important things like sharp pencils and getting darker darks, lighter lights (better value range) and countless other skills she taught me.



  • @NessIllustration that was a wise move Ness. It’s great that you recognised the value of hard work and found a course that could challenge you.

    At your other college, I wonder of maths students had the same deal. “Today you’re going to express yourselves in fractions”


  • Moderator

    These are hilarious... and sad. 😂

    I got one! You know those metal stools with the laminate wood circle tops that every studio class has? We had to paint the top of the stool. Not actually paint on the stool but recreate, on canvas, the years of paint splatter that was on the stool. We were supposed to copy it as exact as we could. It was supposed to be an abstract image, [face palm]
    This was college.



  • @robgale there must be a photo of this somewhere😆


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