I remember being told in college “anyone can be pretty good at drawing because it is an actual learned skill. We may not all be Michelangelo, but that’s ok!” While it may take more practice and instruction for some of us than for others, I definitely agree. There are really two main components: accurately seeing what we are trying to draw and the mechanical techniques of drawing.
This month’s box is on shape & form using high quality drawing pencils and a kneaded eraser. The activity starts with a book on shapes because I believe that one of the goals of art instruction for kids (heck for any age,) is to get them to begin really seeing and noticing things around them. The idea behind using the book on shapes and card stock shapes that kids can manipulate is to help them understand that everything they see is composed of shapes and if they can begin to identify the shapes it is much easier to break complex images down into understandable bite sized chunks!
One of the problems we can run into when trying to draw something, is that we are trying to draw what we think the image should look like instead of really seeing it! If you or your child are attempting to draw something from a photograph or other printed image, one easy way to trick your brain is to turn the image upside down. That way, instead of drawing what you think a horse should look like, your brain is forced to notice the lines, shapes and angles that you see because it isn’t registering the image as a horse.
Another way to train your brain is to do a blind contour drawing. Pick a point to begin on the outside outline of the image you are going to draw. Put your pencil tip on your drawing paper at a correlating location. Keeping your eyes only on the image you are attempting to draw, move your pencil to create the outside outline of the object on your paper. Do NOT pick your pencil up off the paper or peek at your drawing! Contour drawings are one continuous line and are often a bit scribbly but I bet when you are finished and you look at your drawing, you will be amazed! Just keep drawing and doodling whenever you can! If you want more information about drawing as a learned skill, take a look at this article.