Arty children

(18 Posts)
StraightOnTilMorning Sat 16-Feb-13 12:37:23

I have a 5yo dd who enjoys drawing, painting, colouring, and may have a budding talent for art, which I'd like to encourage, but feel a bit lost beyond supplying materials. I'm not that artistic myself and lack inspiration.

So, wondering if there are any artistic MNers out there and what do you do with your budding artists at home? Should I be buying helping her learn drawing techniques (I'd probably have to get a book) - or just let her get on with it?? We go to the odd museum/gallery, and I help with arts and craft type projects from school, and keep her going in felt tips, paints, crayons, paper etc, but I feel like I could do more?

amck5700 Sat 16-Feb-13 12:43:12

Are there any local Art classes? If not, I'd, to an extent, let her get on and do what she is interested in and just provide encouragement.

I'd maybe get her to explore some different materials - felt tips are really not that great as the colours are very solid and don't blend - much better with pencils or chalk - see if you can pick up some cheap pastels somewhere like The Works - they are a bit messy but you can blend the colours together and get different effects. Charcoal is good fun too.

I'd just google and go on youtube for some different ideas - paper mache maybe?

StraightOnTilMorning Sat 16-Feb-13 13:17:20

No local classes that I can get to, in the time available around school etc.

Will have a look in The Works - thanks for the tip about felt tips, and the suggestion to go more towards pastels/chalk/pencils/charcoal for mixing colours - that's exactly the sort of information I need. (So are crayons not as good as pastels then?

I've tried introducing decoupage as just something else to do - which she enjoyed, but then went back to drawing and painting mostly - nevery done papier mache! Her pictures are quite typically childish in subject matter (rainbows, houses, princesses), but she seems to have an eye for colour and detail. I suppose I don't really know how to inspire!

Wishiwasanheiress Sat 16-Feb-13 13:26:24

Hmmm at five I'd keep it simple. Crayon rubbings? Potato prints? Sticking things? String paintings? (String dipped in paint and put on paper) bubble paintings? Paint in bubbles and paper placed on top?

Or if this isn't u, baking? Cup cakes? Rock cakes? Rice Krispies etc?

beautifulgirls Sat 16-Feb-13 13:44:49

My 6 year old loves to watch other people drawing on youtube to get some ideas and we have bought her a couple of books about how to draw as well which she loves. She is currently loving playing with charcoal drawing, but she also has lots of fun with watercolour pencils too. Hunt about - some of these things can be expensive to buy but there are some offers to be had at times too.

amck5700 Sat 16-Feb-13 13:50:59

Crayons are better than Felt tips as you can vary the strength of colour - at the end of the day, she is 5 I'd give her the options but if she likes using felt tips or crayons then let her. At that age I would say let her have her way with some free range stuff to encourage her artistic flair smile and then do a bit of finer drawing or colouring in to enhance he fine motor skills and pen control. As she gets older then a bit more experimenting - my eldest son liked just drawing with a black fine liner and he would draw very intricate drawings of castles - just black on white. Younger son loved just doing large pictures with lots of colour.

Eldest is now 12 and wanted an architects drawing board for Christmas and got a prize at school for drawing the faintest lines hmm - he mainly does computer drawing and modelling now, but has done some really technical stuff with his board- youngest is 11 and loves drawing Japanese Manga style cartoons.

amck5700 Sat 16-Feb-13 13:54:32

I know it's a while away yet, but try to se if there are any of these events near you:

www.campaignfordrawing.org/bigdraw/

My boys have gone along to a few things and they have done some really interesting things with them....including a music/art thing where they had to represent artistically the sounds of the musical instruments. And another where they did things on projector sheets and displayed them on the walls in big magnification.

tethersend Sat 16-Feb-13 14:00:44

Give her materials- charcoal, paint, clay etc. and just let her get on with it.

Never ask "what is it?", but instead ask her to tell you about her work.

Remember it's about the process, not the result.

Take her to galleries and ask her what she thinks about the work; take a sketchbook so she can draw work she likes.

Give her objects to draw- avoid 'how to draw' books like the plague. If you want to get a book, get her The anti-colouring book

Keep up the encouragement smile

tethersend Sat 16-Feb-13 14:05:48

Oh, and try and encourage her to think about the whole page- setting her a challenge to not leave any paper showing when she paints is a useful way of doing this.

I have two very arty children and my best tip to help encourage your DD is for you to relax. I've had to train myself not to comment about not 'wasting' art materials. To them it's experimenting not waste. It's hard not to think they've just made a mess and not made/ drawn something recognisable but now I just let them get on with it and have taught themselves so much and really enjoy it.

homeedmama Sat 16-Feb-13 18:33:47

Hi there, Id say just give your child plenty of time to experiment & also let her try a range of different materials etc I have a cupboard full of arty stuff and I just let my kids get what they want & create whatever they want mostly. I have a big box of all kinds of bits and bobs, different types of paper, shiny stuff, glitter, beads, pom poms, lolly pop sticks etc you name it, its in there! They also have access to glue, scissors, poster paints. I do keep the more expensive ,materials out of reach & they need to ask for them, like water colours and water colour paper or my own acryllics or expensive pastels etc
Sometimes I will show them a particular technique, or I will be doing some painting or craft myself and they will want to join in. So I have taught them: felting, crochet, sculpture techniques, water colour, decoupage (although for this I tend to cut up bits of their old mags for them to use and normal PVA glue because decoupage paper is very expensive!) My kids are aged 6 and 5 and they love this kind of thing. I dont think you have to keep it simple. My DD is very good at wet felting & her work is better than mine!
I am arty myself but I am NOT crafty! I enjoy doing it, but for most of these things I will have gone on a course myself (evening classes) at some point and then had a go at home and the kids have just kind of joined in.
Infact you dont even have to go on a course, you could watch some you tube tutorials to get some ideas. Wet felting is not difficult, anyone can do it pretty much.....Im not saying the outcome will look amazing or anything, but I am a great believer in art being about the process.
If she is more into drawing and painting, then mostly Id say just leave her to it, but you could also encourage different techniques such as wet on wet using water colours, which is fun and looks great. Or you could try doing some painting together, like recreating the works of famous artists & this will get her using different techniques.
I would also suggest getting outside. My kids both have sketch pads which they draw in when we go out sometimes, just simple stuff like drawing flowers or going to the river and sketching there.
My DD is very arty, she is always drawing. My main thing is to allow her as much time to do this as she needs. My DS on the other hand is always making stuff from bits and bobs! He is forever creating things from paper and selotape. I cant say they look like anything much to me, but they seem important to him. I just give them the space, time and access to materials and let them create.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 16-Feb-13 21:03:59

Just want to echo what others have said.

my dd is very arty. She creates out of anything simply because she loves it. I thought about clubs but realise that she is actually happy at this stage just to play around with stuff and create what she wants.

Phineyj Sat 16-Feb-13 21:13:35

Lidl and Aldi are good for cheap art materials, as is Wilkos.

StraightOnTilMorning Sat 16-Feb-13 21:27:35

Thank you all for some very useful suggestions - and the advice to focus on the process rather than the end results, which I try to do, but probably have to remind myself of, frequently!

wishiwasanheiress, hadn't thought about doing string or bubble paintings - but now that you mention it, I would love to give that a whirl with her, as I think I would have fun doing it too!

amck5700 Thanks for The Big Draw link - I will keep an eye out for future events!

tethersend - The Anti-colouring book looks interesting. Dd loves colouring, but this looks like it has a bit more to it.

Never heard of wet felting before homeedmama - so that's a new one on me, thank you.

Lottikins Mon 18-Feb-13 17:38:56

My mum is an art teacher an artist.The first thing, the cardinal rule, at that age is NOT to teach them techniques for drawing etc . it will stifle their creativity which at that age abounds.
It's all about experimenting and expression.

PassTheSherry Mon 18-Feb-13 22:44:21

So just fun mainly. What do you think about bubble paintings, batik, candle rubbings etc. Mixing colours?

Well - we did our first ever attempt (mine and hers) at making bubble paintings today, and she had loads of fun with that! It was all very experimental as I had no real idea about quantities - used watercolour paints from squeezy bottles, mixed in some bubble mixture, and blew it into bubbles with a straw. She then added glitter, and also used a brush to paint other parts of the picture. She's very chuffed with it, I think it's rather beautiful and would love to keep it, but she now wants to give it to her teacher!

I want to try marbling paper with her next, but have to buy some marbling ink first. Listen to me, eh? I'm actually excited myself, at the thought of trying out this stuff - it looks like such great fun!

PassTheSherry Mon 18-Feb-13 22:59:12

Oops sorry this is me, StraightOnTilMorning!

alittleteapot Tue 19-Feb-13 09:59:43

Felting is really easy and fun - something you can do as a family too - maybe make a gift for someone. You can get materials on the Myriad website which is a bit pricey but really gorgeous - all a bit Steinery. Also tie dye is fun to do in the garden in the summer, or batik where you use wax and then dye. Get her some nice soft coloured pencils for a bit more control and detail than felt tip but as others have said just leave her to get on with it and go with her flow.

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