“A drawing a day keeps the cobwebs away.”
Many children do not know that artists have learned to draw. They often assume that you can draw or you can’t. Nearly anybody can learn to draw at any age. Many children feel inferior about their own ability to draw. Too often no teacher or adult has ever helped them learn to draw properly. Most teachers have not been educated about teaching drawing. Some generalist teachers even say, “That’s okay, I can’t draw either.” This is the opposite of good motivation. They would never dare say, “That’s okay, I can’t read and write. I just don’t have the talent for it.”
Drawing ability comes from practice it takes dedication and time!
We practice piano a long time to learn some pieces. We don’t worry two much about mistakes while we are learning, but eventually it is good to play a recital.
Over the coming weeks your child will be given drawing practice to do at home. I will post exercises here on this site that can be downloaded or just used from the screen. I encourage them to practice from actual objects and work from pictures.
They must never work from their memory.
The problem is that drawing from memory or from imagined image is
extremely difficult, even for a trained artist. For children who have never learned even basic drawing skills, this is an impossible task, tantamount to asking a child who can neither read nor write to compose an essay on a given topic.
How many of you can remember trying to draw the sports car or the Viking ship, seen in your mind’s eye drawing the image over and over, trying to get it right, so that things looked real. But all too often the attempts failed, at least in your eyes as a child, and soon you came to the sad conclusion, “I can’t draw.” This child grows up to be the adult in our culture who claims to be inartistic and, it often follows, uncreative.
Why teach your child to draw?
Suppose teachers were to decide that it is not a good idea to teach children how to read and write because doing well would spoil their creative use of language.
Teachers would give lessons on creative ways to combine letters to make patterns or encourage accidental combinations of sounds and letters, but would never burden children with learning the “difficult” skills of reading and writing.
If one or two children in a class did learn to read and write by chance or from a parent, they would be singled out as “talented in language,” and the other children would decide that they were untalented and probably could never learn. The teacher would say, “Never mind. There are other ways to enjoy language. I’ll read you a poem and we’ll talk about it.
Then, we’ll make up a nice game with words…”
This could never happen, of course, because we perceive language skills as too important to be turned into child’s play. Conversely, we think drawing skills to be unimportant and, in fact, even a bit scary.
Drawing skills are important for thinking, just as learning the skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic are important for thinking. learning how to see things differently by means of drawing is educationally valuable.