The Bulletin

Why Draw? The Value of Portrait & Imaginary Sketching

Tuesday, November 2013

Edited by Becky Moskowitz, 3rd Grade Teacher 
Illustrations by David Dozier, High School Faculty

Waldorf education adheres strongly to the belief that every student has an imagination and an artistic capacity to bring their ideas to life. As educational research continues to confirm, developing these abilities also supports the emergence of creative thinking and problem-solving skills in addition to helping students discover confidence and wonder in the inherent beauty of the world. By incorporating the arts into the general curriculum, all learning at the Chicago Waldorf School is enhanced through multi-sensory experiences of the subjects. Students also develop a deeper ownership of their course work when they put together their own lesson books, participate in activities such as drama and music productions and enhance their observational skills through their own artistic renderings.

David Dozier teaches art history, painting in oils and watercolor, drawing, calligraphy and block printing at the Chicago Waldorf School, as well as drawing skills to adults in the Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education Program. He has a Master's degree in Education (with a Certificate in Waldorf Education) from Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, NH, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Layton School of Art and Design in Milwaukee, WI, with academic accreditation from Marquette University. As a Chicago Waldorf School instructor, David brings his proficiency in all traditional media; oils, pastels, watercolors, drawing, printing, and sculpture, and his work ranges from paintings done from imagination to portraits, landscapes, and still life done with a spectrum palette, painting colors true to the existing light conditions. 

The object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful.

 -Plato (The Republic)

Over the years, David has become infamous for drawing stealth sketches of faculty members during our weekly full faculty meetings.
“I enjoy faculty meetings not only for their stated purposes, but also for the opportunity to practice drawing stealth portraits. I have known teachers who knit in meetings to help them stay focused on the topic of conversation, and drawing serves the same purpose for me. Drawing during a meeting is not a distraction for me, but a way of helping myself focus on what is being discussed, and to not becoming fidgety. It’s important to mention that the subjects aren't posing for me and are hopefully unaware that I'm drawing them specifically, even though they may be aware that I'm drawing.”  − David Dozier

One of the high school art blocks that David teaches is Black and White Drawing. In this block students are shown how tones of light and dark reveal form. This course allows them to spend long periods of time drawing each other's portraits in profile, full face, and ¾ profile, drawing from imagination, and working out tonal plane relationships. Drawings are done in both charcoal and graphite on white paper, and in white chalk and pencils on black paper.

This portfolio of observational drawings made during faculty meetings shows David’s attention to detail and his ability to focus; a process which he models in assignments and drawing classes with the High School students.