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Encouraging artistic ability

(12 Posts)
RunningAllDay Mon 24-Oct-11 20:26:11

Hi there - I'm wondering if anyone can help. DD2 (going on 6) is very good at drawing, and has been since very small. We have done loads of art and craft over the years, and we often sit and sketch still lifes all together (i.e. with me and DD1, aged 7, also keen, but definitely less talented). I have been wondering if there are ways of encouraging her to improve, or whether this would be counterproductive, and she should guide her own improvement.

Are there books or websites anyone could recommend for ideas of things to draw, or sketch, to channel or encourage ability, and especially creative thinking? I know of such books for adults, but not for children. I have already taught her to sew and knit, and she has free access to drawing/painting/collage materials. I am artistic, but not exceptionally so, and have no idea how to 'teach' her, though that is probably the wrong word.

Any ideas gratefully received!

Bonsoir Mon 24-Oct-11 20:28:37

Can you find her a teacher to help her learn to draw properly? My DD, who is nearly 7, has been doing art classes with a teacher who is an illustrator by profession and it really helps.

crazygracieuk Mon 24-Oct-11 20:31:36

Usborne do lots of books called things like "Things to Draw", "Fairy Things to Make and Do" etc

Klutz are good for this too. They do fun books like "Draw Thumb Animals"

I've also seen LOADS of doodle books- "Christmas Doodles", "Beautiful Doodles" etc.

I wouldn't say that they would improve her skills but she would probably have lots of fun working through them.

RunningAllDay Mon 24-Oct-11 20:39:10

Thanks for the replies.

Am v interested that you're daughter is being properly taught, Bonsoir. I had never really considered anything so formal. Does your daughter do a class with others or is it one-on-one?

We have a ton of the Usborne books, crazy and I agree they are great. Don't know the Klutz or Doodles ones though, so will look them out. She never seems to need any inspiration to get her started - and I suppose I am interested in things that will help her improve. But there's nothing wrong with having fun as well!

TethHearseEnd Mon 24-Oct-11 20:41:46

I'm an art teacher, and it sounds as if you are doing well, particularly with the observational drawing.

A fun extension of observational drawing is to put a postcard-sized 'blinder' on the pencil so she cannot see what she's drawing description here

Get her to feel things (her own face with her eyes closed is a good one) and draw what she feels.

I would just let her enjoy it. Introduce her to different techniques, and remember that the value is in the process rather than the result. Ask her questions about her work like "What could you have done differently?" "What are you pleased with?". Avoid questions like "What is it?" and other representational things.

Take her to art galleries, talk about the work.

The Anti colouring book is excellent for creative ideas.

As a reference for you, Betty Edwards' Drawing on the right side of the brain is very interesting, as is Experimental drawing

But, most importantly of all, she should be having fun smile

TethHearseEnd Mon 24-Oct-11 20:43:11

I have to say, avoid "How to Draw..." books like the plague, sorry. They are so bad for creative development.

MigratingCoconuts Mon 24-Oct-11 20:45:09

You are exactly describing my 6 year old!!

Mine loves watching 'Art Attack' on CITV saturday and sunday mornings. the presenter always shows them how to do a new technique which I have seen my DD use in her art.

I have never considered formal teaching mainly because, with her artistic ability, has come a struggle with reading and writing and i want to focus on these. Also, her dad is very artistic and they oftern talk together about the art they do.

Bonsoir Mon 24-Oct-11 20:53:40

She is taught in a very small group at the teacher's home, but a lot of the work is individually monitored - the teacher will get all the children working on a similar thing eg a portrait, but teaches each child according to its own maturity/skill level.

RunningAllDay Mon 24-Oct-11 20:56:54

Thankyou so much TethHearseEnd - the link looks fantastic. I'm ordering the Anti-colouring book, and will borrow the Right-side Brain one from my MIL (which actually I bought her for Xmas at her request), and try and source the other. You have reinforced the instinct I already had of not forcing it, or making it formal - partly because she is so little, and partly because like MC she has plenty of other formal tuition (in our case, ballet, piano, swimming, school) - I feel like art is her time to relax!

I like the idea of going to galleries too - she got a lot out of a recent exhibition at her school by visiting artists. I just need to seek them out. Thanks again.

RunningAllDay Mon 24-Oct-11 20:58:54

That does sound nice Bonsoir - that kind of thing might be good for her when she is a little older and dreams of being a prima ballerina have faded and we have an evening a week back grin

Bonsoir Mon 24-Oct-11 21:01:05

Sure, time is a big factor for all extra-curricular activities! But my DD really adores her Tuesday evening art class and it isn't remotely tiring for her - in fact, I think it relaxes her while she learns, which is a pretty good combination IMO!

MigratingCoconuts Mon 24-Oct-11 21:05:36

Bonsoir, that does sound lovely. I am sure it is something my DD would enjoy in the future.

I think its fab that my DD can get this sort of tution at the moment, from her dad. it gives them a connection that is entirely their's.

I agree that DD uses art as her time to relax. its the one thing I do not have to push grin

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