Since we bought boys bamboo brushes expressly for sumi-e, I wanted to get at least two lessons out of it. I had a bird lesson ready for last week - but learning the brush strokes for bamboo sucked up all the time.
So this week, we attacked birds. This is the basic step-by-step I taught them.
Step 1, in and of itself is a challenge. In order to get the right shape, you have to start at the top, press the brush down, then pull, curve, and lift at the same time. It also helps if you can twist the brush to get a nice point at the end. We simply practiced that stroke for an entire page.
They were troopers. They were. The stuff I'm throwing at them isn't easy. Practice isn't easy. And for our part (Heather's and mine) managing three boys with different personalities isn't easy.
Curly took to these lessons the most, I think. When he concentrated on it - he did a really good job.
Magoo is EASILY frustrated. That's just how he is when learning something new that he doesn't excel at immediately. He needs a lot of positive feedback and reminders not to be too hard on himself. Still, he did pretty darn good.
Mo had the most difficult time with this. I think he gave up on it early in the lesson and simply wanted to do his own thing. These are "tightrope" moments. I really have to feel out a situation here because, ideally, I want to keep them on task until they have a breakthrough, but sometimes it's not worth it. Sometimes you just gotta let go of the lesson and save the day, yanno? Heather kept reminding him to be a good listener, but sumi-e birds weren't meant to be. He just did his own thing and we just let him do it. And that's OK too.
I would love to continue with this. But I think 2 weeks is enough for this group. Next week we'll move on to something a little less structured.
I don't know what yet. :)