Author/Illustrator teaches students unique drawing techniques
Minneapolis author/illustrator Gary Harbo visited Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School this week teaching students creative drawing techniques, as well as how to use their imagination.
Harbo presented a two-day hands-on drawing workshop to eighth-grade students in Laurie Kopische-Pulju’s art classes and then gave a presentation to fifth- and sixth-grade classes in the media center. He showed the students how to draw three-dimensional characters following an easy step-by-step process, as well as how to add “personality” to their character drawings.
Harbo said oftentimes students feel they cannot draw. With his step-by-step art lessons, Harbo showed even the most skeptical students that drawing can be fun and actually quite easy.
“By breaking the illustration down into simple steps, the kids are able to successfully follow along and create a wonderful drawing,” Harbo said.
When WDC students began drawing their animal (they could choose a gorilla, wolf, snake or a cat), you could see the excitement build as their character came to life on paper. Thanks to Harbo mixing in his a good sense of humor, the students had fun developing their own cartoon character with unique personalities.
“He did a wonderful job once again connecting with the kids,” said Loni Niles, WDC’s media specialist, who coordinated Harbo’s artist-in-residence visit at WDC this week, as well as two years ago when he was here teaching fifth-, sixth- and eighth-grade students.
Harbo donated two of his books, “How to Draw 104 Cartoons with Gary Harbo,” to the middle/high school media center and the elementary media center. “Last time [Mr. Harbo] was here, he donated his ‘How to Draw 104 Cartoons’ book and it was checked out for weeks [by students]. I’m sure that will happen again after today’s visit,” laughed Niles.
According to Niles, Harbo’s artist-in-residence visit was funded by a grant generously given by Roy, Edna and Lee Lamson Family Trust, which is administered by the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Wadena. The grant will also fund upcoming author/musician Dennis Warner’s visit “Beads on a String” when he is at WDC Elementary on Feb. 17. Both author visits help celebrate “I Love to Read Month” at WDC.
Niles and art teacher Bethany Danielson and music teacher Mary Ellenson applied for the grant. They were thrilled to receive the $2,395 check to fund these two authors’ visits. “It’s been wonderful to bring these authors to WDC thanks to the generosity of the Lamson family,” said Niles.
Harbo has been visiting schools for 25 years now and he’s written and illustrated 25 books.