This is what I tell my students (many of whom complain that their work is "no good") at least twice a day.
Since my art students cover a rather broad range of ages (5 -101) and abilities, some of my creative energy needs to be directed at finding projects that allow each student to feel successful, and to create something that they see as beautiful.
One of the challenges with my 'senior class" is that many of these older women insist on making things the 'right way." This means brown tree trunks, green leaves, red apples, blue skies. Nothing I say seems to give them the permission they need to try a green sun in a pink sky. So, sometimes, just to shake things up, I present a project that is not supposed to look real.
One way I inspire these lessons is by presenting the work of a favorite artist. (If a real artist can do it like this, maybe it's alright.) I love the work of Paul Klee. Showing his work is a way to begin to get the point across that things that are not realistic can be beautiful and interesting.
One of the many inspirations that I get from Klee's work is the idea of "taking a line for a walk." I have done many drawings in this way. The more comfortable I become with this style of drawing, the more I trust the outcomes. For some reason, when I use this method to draw faces, they always seem to be better proportioned, have more expression, and open the way for more creative use of color than any other method I use in my teaching. I taught an entire summer workshop using this method and the students' results got better and more beautiful and fun every day.
So, here is an example of one of my One Line Faces, enhanced with straight lines when the face/head/figure is complete. The color is Caran D'ache and I have added a little digital oomph in the background. This is 9x12" on watercolor paper.
This brings me to a question. Do any of you teach art? Does anyone work with Senior Citizens? I would like to know how others teach senior artists. Please post to the comments. Thanks