Mechanical Drawing Heart Designs

This week, students began creating Kaleidoscope Heart Designs. I like to have them do some variety of this type of art each year. Our first step is to create a blank heart template on 18×18″ white paper. Each student creates theirs from a demonstration I lead using a compass and ruler. One of the primary challenges is getting students to draw very lightly on what is essentially an under-drawing that should disappear behind the finished art in marker and colored pencil. This year, I completed an example template (left) as light as it should be drawn and displayed at the front of class to give them a reference. Notice it is so light that it doesn’t appear on camera. In fact, most students can’t see the design on the page from their seat…That’s kind of the point, you see. The demonstration template that I complete on camera (right) has to be drawn dark in order for it to be visible. I find I need to remind them every so often that while I have to draw dark, they should keep theirs faint like the completed example. The strategy worked as I have observed a smaller number of students drawing their design too dark.

Another challenge that always comes up are the students who are absent that day, make mistakes, or otherwise end up with an incorrect version of the template. My approach to mechanical drawing demonstration is to only do a class-wide demonstration and strictly avoid individual help.. I go slow. I repeat steps over and over. I try to keep an eye out for daydreamers. But I proceed through the steps to completion no matter what. I remind students not to bother raising their hand if there is a problem because I will not be able to work with them up individually. I find its actually more efficient to just look into those who had difficulties at a later time. In fact, I generally create as many as two dozen blank template myself to allow absent students and students with irreparable templates to stay caught up with the class. It so happens that most of my mechanical drawing projects involve creating the template and them putting those aside while the students complete some practice work on their own. This means that I have plenty of time to review those templates before they are needed.