Monday, October 7, 2013

Form Drawing

 Form Drawing 
by Brenda Massei of Pail and Pie  
My eight year old son gets to choose his daily school work from a weekly checklist. Once per week his list includes form drawing and without fail, enthusiastically, he chooses it every Monday. So, what is so wonderful about form drawing for him? "Probably, I like it because of all the crazy forms I get to draw," he answers me. It may go deeper than that. 
In 1919 Rudolph Steiner introduced form drawing which is taught to children ages 6-10 . This simple idea, of having children essentially copy freehand drawings, is more than just a crayon to paper. Before children are shown a form to recreate on their page, they are immersed in the feeling of the form. Children are introduced to each new form through stories, movements through the air, or walking the form as a few examples. The feelings from this engagement with a form can vary based on the form taught.
 For instance, if a teacher has a restless group that needs energy, a sharp, stiff form can create some liveliness. In contrast, slow, rounded forms can do just the opposite, create harmony and peace for children who need some calm. Having children focus on a form and replicate it with intention create zen like moments that can linger.
Last year my son would not stop at the end of the page. Indeed he drew form drawing borders around his pages and went on to create new forms based on his moods. This year he chooses form drawing every monday and enjoys each new expression. An acquaintance's daughter grew up to create and sell beautiful celtic knot motifs on cards as an extension from early form drawing instruction. Form drawing is enjoyable.
Form drawing gives pleasure while creating repeated patterns with lines instead of waiting to admire only an end product. It is an experience one can feel. The creating can indeed trump the joy of the ended design.
Symmetry? Counting? Geometry? Art? Form drawing can dive into any of these aspects as indeed the line is the most primeval form of creation and art. Teaching children to enjoy the movement of line over paper proves beneficial.
Read more about how form drawing affects your mood in the article Form Drawing by Rosemary Gebert. (Link:

See the connection of form drawing to art in the book: 
Painting and Drawing in Waldorf Schools Classes 1 to 8 by Thomas Wildgruber. 
 See more of Brenda's great articles on her blog:
Pail and Pie
 Visit Brenda's Waldorf on Etsy team shop for gift ideas:

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