Art education, inspiration and encouragement for children and parents in Arlington, VA
This is a really fun and invigorating lesson anyone can do no matter your age.
Radiating warmth, energy and vitality can't be wrong and so to honor the colors of fall we venture on a journey of discovery with color mixing.
We created either a sun or a marigold flower shape using the same simple steps:
Interesting color facts:
Download the three files at the bottom of this blog to help your child learn to draw.
I remember my father teaching me to draw. He made one line and I copied it, then he made another and I copied it. I didn't see how these lines were going to become anything until they came together and the face of Fred Flintstone appeared, it was magical.
Drawing remains with me one of the most rewarding things in my life so I love helping children learn this skill.
Sketchbooks are for making mistakes
The sketchbook is for thinking with our markers as we draw. We use markers so we don't spend our time erasing in class. A sketch is a quick practice drawing. It helps to see what to do by looking at what what isn't being done.
If we are trying to make a large circle, as big as our hand, and we draw a small one, we draw over the small shape to make the one we really want: the bigger circle. We use the mistake as a gauge to help us do it correctly. It's easier not to repeat the same mistake if we look at the mistake as a guide and helper. Mistakes are not "wrong" nor are we wrong for trying to learn a new skill.
This is not easy for children. We all want to do it right the first time and we feel we should be able to do it well right away. Everyone feels this way, even adults. These are our personal feelings getting in the way again of our abilities to stay open to learning. Learning to like ourselves for not being perfect and accepting our mistakes as opportunities is big work.
Ways to help your child learn to draw:
The files below are examples I have used in class and you can use at home with your children.
"Do you like my art?" asks a small child with wide dark round eyes. I look at the art, my face goes blank, eyebrows come together and I tilt my head trying to catch a thought, any thought other than what is in my head right now which is nothing. I wonder where in-the-world did this child come from and what-in-the-world were they thinking and how in-the-world did they ever get the idea to do what they have done based on the discussion and instruction?
"Is my art good?" This is a question children often ask and what they might mean by it is: "Am I a good person?" or "Do you love me?". The answer is not always yes, I mean, of course I love you, but....It's not a fair or accurate question. Can your art be bad? Is your art you? If I say yes and I don't like your art am I a liar? Children...why do they have to be do difficult?
I must confess, there are times in the classroom when I am in teacher mode and I have some idea in my head about what the student's art "should" look like. I'm all puffed up about how good a teacher I am and how wonderful all the art is going to look, all the awards and grant money that will be pouring in because of how wonderful I, art and the students are together.
Honestly, at this point, I'm also experiencing being so grateful that there is something so left field, that it leaves me breathless. Isn't that the crux of creativity? How did this child get it and where did I go with my ideas when we all had to make a particular type of art that looks like a particular artist? Isn't it much better to come with something so unique that it stops the teacher in her tracks and makes her think? This what art should do. Essentially this child bypassed all my learning and knowledge and achieved something beyond my expectations. "Do you like it?" Of course I like it. Now go back to your seat and make more art. Children...always breaking the rules, asking questions and disrupting the flow!
I have so much to learn...that is why I teach.
Jean Frank Stark
I make art and have taught to children for over 20 years.