CLAM as a teaching method

CLAM explained

CLAM is an acronym forcontinuously looking at the model. It describes a teaching method, suggested by Kimon Nicolaїdes and popularised by Betty Edwards. However, they describe it as “contour drawing”. Since 1941, when Nicolaїdes‘ book “The Natural Way to Draw” was published posthumously and started its life as the most influential book on drawing published in the twentieth century, his method has proved its value as a powerful teaching tool. However, in addition to its well established advantages, it has significant disadvantages. Chapter 6 in my book “Drawing on Both Sides of the Brain”  explains both its strengths and its limitations.

CHAPTER 6 – CONTOUR DRAWING

 

Three example of drawings using CLAM

 

clam
1: A pure CLAM drawing: Within the confusion, a great deal of useful information is to be found

 

clam
2: Drawing by Rodin using a lot of CLAM, made long before Nicolaїdes used it as a teaching tool.

 

clam: Some important errors, but other qualties compensate.
3: A drawing by Francis Pratt using modified CLAM. I hope you will agree that, as with the Rodin drawing, the effect of the whole is not too much spoiled by a few serious inaccuracies.

Links to chapters from “Drawing on Both sides of the Brain” that have already been published on this Posts Page

Back to the top of the page

 

3 thoughts on “CLAM as a teaching method”

  1. You have delved deeply into the advantages and disadvantages of drawings made while continuously looking at the model. It is rare to find such thorough information about this interesting tool, even though it is used so heavily in many drawing classes. This post definitely makes me more aware of how to use CLAM to my advantage.

  2. It took me some time to get through the entire chapter because I have been really busy lately, but I am so glad I finally made it! Very very interesting once again, Francis!

Leave a Reply to Sarah Elliott Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *