Friday, October 10, 2008
Entertainment or Learning?
I did a quick search on YouTube for drawing videos. The return that came back was 249,000. For painting videos, a search came up with 324,000.
I get requests to make drawing videos from students and have declined to date because I am not sure just how beneficial they are to the learning process. Yes, some learning is achieved through demonstration, but I wonder if any research has been done as to how many people actually learn and retain information from art related videos or are they simply entertainment?
I know I am old school and learned the traditional way from practical theory, life demonstrations and hands on practice. So yes, I did have those demonstrations but done in addition to books, lectures, professors, art instructors and my own self discipline in practicing the skills I learned.
I've watched several videos, professional and amateur that show drawing specific subjects and I have to say I have not really learned anything new. I have enjoyed watching someone else's technique or say to myself, 'yes, that's how I approach it too'. There is usually a basic shape or gesture drawing that is then refined through accelerated frames to a final product, making the process look very easy. For the beginning artist, it may make it look almost too effortless in some ways.
Is there a difference in how an individual learns a drawing skill from a written form with illustrations a demonstration in real life or a series of 5 minute videos? And what about retaining that information or honing the skill from each of these methods? Done in isolation, videos do make it look easy - and quick. That is just what today's society wants and expects from everything. The populace wants skills that should be effortless and without a time commitment involved but be professional looking as well.
I have been looking for any research that has taken place on the use of video in teaching art techniques, drawing in particular but haven't been too successful to date. So I'm turning to my experts, the readers of the blog to see if they can shed some light, or at least their two cents worth, on this subject.
Is video demonstration simply a trend that is used for entertainment or is it a valid learning tool?