The paper includes considerations on Painting, Sculpture and Commercial Art. Considerations on Industrial Art are included as far as principles of art are concerned with the subject. Architecture, to do it proper justice, needs a special paper and therefore is not considered. Applied art and commercial art are regarded as almost identical in our country. I have therefore referred to it as commercial art together with subjects directly concerned with it. In the case of crafts, I have included only artistic crafts for consideration.
Courses and syllabus, duration of the course and working hours have been considered in a broad way only. Detailed considerations are not possible in such a short paper. Suggestions regarding the actual teaching of the con tents have also been included wherever it was felt necessary to include them.
2. Professions open to artists:
The following list of professions open to the artist will give perhaps a comprehensive idea as to where he can fit in as a useful member of the society. This list will also help the considerations about the contents of Art Education:
|1. Portrait Painter|
2. Mural Painter
3. Genre Painter
4. Creative Painter
5. ‘Monument' Sculptor
6. Architectural Sculptor
7. Creative Sculptor
|8. Press Publicity Artist|
10. Outdoor Publicity Artist
11. Display Specialist
12. Interior Decorator
13. Litho Artist
15. Museum Assistant
|16. Caster and Moulder|
17. Toy Maker and Designer
18. Decorative Potter
19. Industrial Designer
20. Textile Designer
21. Set Designer
22. Film and Stage Decor Expert, etc.
3. Contents of Art Education:
The following is the list of subjects which form the basis of training of art in both the aspects of practice and intellectual understanding of it:
|2||Rendering in colour|
|3||Design for a flat surface|
|4||Design in round|
|5||Modelling in round and relief|
|(f)||Toy making and designing|
|(g)||Pattern and design making|
The following notes against each of the above subjects will give the scope of each subject. For the convenience of teaching I have graded them in three courses:
|Course One||Object Drawing; Freehand Drawing; Memory Drawing.|
|Course Two||Object drawing in special conditions of light; Life Study, draped and undraped; Animal Study.|
|Course Three||Life Drawing (Advanced Standard); Drawing of complicated objects at unusual levels.|
(2) Rendering in colour:
|Course One||Acquaintance with colour media; objects rendering in colour;|
|Course Two||Rendering of objects wit h background; Study of Head and Figures; Open air study in colour.|
|Course Three||Life Study; Landscape Study; Animal Study.|
(3) Design for a flat surface:
|Course One||Organization in given dimensions of geometrical and conventional forms; Patterns avoiding com plication; |
Designs avoiding monotony.
|Course Two||Freehand Patterns and Designs; Figure and other material to be organized in composition forms.|
|Course Three||Composition for murals and relief work Abstract arrangements (organization);|
(4) Design in round:
|Course One||Organization of subjects in plastic materials (Composition in round by Building Method).|
|Course Two||Organization of Illustrative Material like Human Figure and Animals to create a satisfying whole in round.|
|Course Three||Blocks of Hard Material to be organized into an illustrative subject by cutting in method;|
Abstract conceptions in round by cutting in method.
(5) Modelling in round and relief:
|Course One||Representational modelling from simple object or groups of objects; Parts of Human Body.|
|Course Two||Study of Human Form in round and relief; Study of Animal Forms; Study of Clothing Material.|
|Course Three||Study of Human Form, male and female, full size; Study of Animal Forms.|
(6) Graphic Arts:
|Course One||Line or Woodcut designs in one or more colours.|
|Course Two||Dry Point, Etching, Litho work, Photography.|
|Course Three||Photography, Etching, Aquatint, Mezzotint, etc.|
|Course One||Knowledge and Practice of types of letters; Drawing letters with me chemical aids.|
|Course Two||Typography, Principles; Designing of scripts for fancy work and types.|
|Course Three||Freehand practice of Lettering with Brush, Reed pen, and other contrivances.|
|Note:||I have mentioned here course of study in Lettering only from among the other supporting subjects. I leave the respective courses of study to the specialists.|
Subjects like anatomy and perspective have not been included as basic subjects. However, the importance of knowledge in these subjects for artists should not be lost sight of. They should be taught not as they are taught as separate subjects but their knowledge should be imparted along the practical study of human figure and Architectural sketching or drawing.
4. Specialization should not start from the beginning: Reasons:
(a) Early specialization has been responsible for low standards prevailing in art.
(b) All the basic subjects are helpful to proper study of specialization.
(c) Early specialization leads to economic waste in respect of additional building, equipment, staff, etc.
(d) Early specialization debars a student from making a proper choice of the subject of specialization.
(e) It creates unnecessary ill feeling towards sister arts.
In order to overcome the defects of early specialization I suggest that certain basic courses of the basic subject given earlier should be taught to all the art students. Specialization should be reached in the final stage with gradual reduction of subjects in the middle stage.
In order to clarify this point, I am giving the course of study (the contents) of three professional art subjects chosen for their diverse needs and varied nature of the subject of specialization:
1. Portrait Painter:
|Drawing: Course one, two and three|
|Rendering: Course one, two and three|
|Design in Flat: Course one and two Design in Round: Course one|
|Modelling: Course one and two|
|Graphic Arts: Course one|
|Supporting subject: Photography|
|Plus one year's practical work with a portrait painter.|
2. Interior Decorator:
|Drawing: Course one and two|
|Rendering: Course one and two|
|Design in Flat: Course one, two and three Design in Round: Course one, two and three Modelling: Course one and two|
|Graphic Art: Course one|
|Supporting subject: Architectural Drawing|
|Plus one year's practical work with a specialist in Interior Decoration.|
3. Textile Designer:
|Drawing: Course one and two|
|Rendering: Course one and two|
|Design in Flat: Course one, two and three|
|Design in Round: Course one|
|Modelling: Course one|
|Graphic Art: Course one, two and three|
|Supporting subject: Weaving; plus one year's practice under a Textile Designer.|
5. Duration of the course:
I visualize that all the courses should run along for six years in all. In certain craft courses, they may be shortened by two years, for instance in the case of Potters or Casters and Moulders. They may spend two years thus saved in Learning about glazing or metal casting. I personally feel these subjects like glazing and metal casting at professional level should be beyond the scope of art school curriculum.
The six years courses should be divided into three stages thus:
|First stage: first two years|
|Second stage: middle two years|
|Third and final stage: last two years|
In the last stage the last (sixth) year is to be spared in each case for specialization under an expert.
First stage will have common courses for all students, at the second stage certain basic subjects may be dropped (as shown in the three examples). At the third stage, the scope of study will narrow down to the basic subjects directly concerned with the branch of professional art selected for specialization, the last year being devoted entirely to its practice.
Working hours: Tuition should be imparted for five days in a week. Every working day should consist of four working hours under guidance and two hours for independent work in the workshop or studio of the art institution. There should be three months vacation but certain independent work may be assigned during this period, directly concerned with the subject of study.
There should be no examination at any stage. However, at every stage end of 2nd year, 4th year and 5th year a student will have to satisfy his fitness to enter the next stage to the teacher concerned by his entire work produced during the particular stage.
Theory: History of Art should form an important content of Art Education. History of Art should include the study of distinct developments of art through out the world. For instance, Arts of the Primitive People, Egyptian Art, Greek and Roman Art, Chinese Art, Assyrian and Byzantine Art, Modern European Art, Indian Art. There should be emphasis on the comparative study of these Arts in relation to Indian Art.
It is now realized that such a study does help the intellectual approach to Art and broadens the outlook of the craftsman and the artist towards other forms of art foreign to their country. He understands his own attempts better.
6. Coordination of Art Institutions:
Coordinating body should be appointed by the Central Government to bring about:
i. Rise in standards.
ii. Levelling the standards.
iii. Common understanding of ideals of art.
iv. Helping the art institutions in various other ways.
Here, however, allowance should be made to manners of teaching, local conditions, traditional features of local arts, etc.
Indian art principles are to be given due weightage throughout all art teaching. Art teachers, therefore, hold a great responsibility. A few suggestions I have to offer here would be worth consideration.
(a) Art teachers should make every attempt to acquaint themselves with Art History of India.
(b) Indian examples should be freely used in discussion on art to illustrate art principles.
(c) There should be stress on the spirit behind Indian Arts rather than on the techniques.
(d) Many examples of Indian art arc masterpieces of the World Art. The teachers should bring home the fact that they are great not because they are Indian but because they stand any test of great art anywhere.
Like the lectures on History of Art, there should be lectures and demonstrations on methods and materials of Art used by artists. This also should form an important content of Art Education.
I have tried in short to show my views on the contents of professional Art Education. I have hardly touched any details. But whatever little I have discussed earlier should give an idea what the contents should be.
In conclusion, I have to say that Art Education needs serious consideration today for its improvement. A few points, that came to my mind where remedy for improvement could be suggested, have been discussed at more length than the others in this paper. I strongly feel there should be more stress on quality than on quantity in Art Education.