I was just thinking......I have never been great at art, especially drawing. This is probably a result of not spending any time to practice the skill. I want my children (oldest is 6 this year) to learn to draw, particularly for their nature journals and Century books, but I don't feel that I have the know-how to instruct them. But do we really NEED a book to teach us to draw. I am wondering if just focusing time on practicing the skill will give results. I just cannot find a book that seems right for us. I would appreciate any thought on the topic.
Do we NEED drawing curriculum?(14 posts) (11 voices)
Well, it seems as we study a lot of the great artists that most of them studied under other great artists, so I'm not sure that just practicing a lot will get you there, but I don't know... Sure you can learn things by trial and error, but you may spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel. Perhaps you could borrow some books from the library to give you some tips.
My girls are thoroughly enjoying a video curriculum done by my pastor's wife - a super talented artist that has such a long waiting list for her art classes that she created this curriculum for homeschool families that couldn't wait, or couldn't drive or couldn't afford her classes. My girls 8 and 6 are really catching on and learning lots... http://www.creatingamasterpiece.com/index.html I wish I had a blog so I could post pictures, but the results really have been as awesome as the samples that you'll find on her website.
I think that Queen homeschooling also has a book specifically about how to draw as related to nature journals, but I haven't used it.
What age? I am assuming elementary grades. My ds8 loves to draw on his own. The best way to get better is by practicing. We do not use a curriculum, but I felt the same pressure a while back. My fears subdued when I went to a homeschool convention about a year ago and listened to the author of Artistic Pursuits and he said to teach them to be observant. They need to observe the things around them and then they are much better able to draw them. He said to wait until about age 9 or 10 to start a curriculum to teach various art elements and mediums...about when they start to become frustrated with their work.
CM Nature Study is a great way to help them observe the world around them and then practice drawing what they observed in their nature notebook. You can also look back at it later and see the progression.
Picture study will familiarize them with different art mediums like oil paints, pastels, watercolors and to see how each artist is unique. It will also help them to become more observant to details as they tell you what they remember in the painting. It will help them grow in appreciation for good art.
Your children are unique and their artwork should never look just like someone else's artwork. This is why I don't care for many of the drawing programs available. You always think your art is supposed to look just like theirs; but it's not. (Artistic Pursuits encourages the artist's creativity and that's what we'll use later.) As long as they are happy with their art, let them have fun with it and have papers and drawing supplies always available to them. Encourage their creativity...and have fun with it.
The drawing books we have enjoyed are the Draw Write Now series, just for fun and new ideas on what to draw. But be careful that they do not get into thinking that theirs has to look just like the one in the book or they may become frustrated. I keep telling them that their art should not look just like the one in the book.
Discovering Great Artists is nice to encourage creativity and gives a short bio. of the artist. You could do this along side picture study.
We liked a bit of Drawing with Children, but I think the Drawing Textbook was more beneficial for pencil type drawing. I believe it's by Bruce McIntyre. (not able to look it up just now)
Discovering Artists (or D the Great A, away from the house) was fun this year. Not just drawing, but lots of art and learning went on.
Becca, it's called Discovering Great Artists and I'm so glad you mentioned it! I am looking forward to using it this year along with our artist studies. Here it is at Amazon:
Hope this helps!
I really wanted to love Drawing with Children since everybody else does, but I the method of teaching just didn't work for me. I bought it about 12 years ago and have tried to implement it many times. I finally decided to just try something different. I took the plunge and bought "See the Light" dvd art curriculum. I highly recommend it if you are looking for instruction as opposed to cool art projects. I decided to check it out after seeing it reviewed on the Raising Arrows blog.
We have been through the first three discs so far. I have never been able to draw ANYTHING, and even I was able to make a lovely leaf drawing, a pretty fair shoe drawing, and a lovely shaded sphere with a shadow. Probably doesn't sound too exciting, I know - but for someone who couldn't even draw a circle it is very exciting. I am able to draw these small things realistically. It works really well for my 11 year old daughter and myself. All of the kids are doing the lessons together, but the others aren't really ready to put a lot of time and effort into their drawings right now, so we'll go through it again in another year or two. They have some sample lessons on their website that convinced me that it was what I was looking for. I already have all the art appreciation and fun art projects stuff. I was wanting something that was real step-by-step drawing instruction. http://www.seethelightshine.com/
I love art and in fact will be leading an art co-op this summer. I grew up taking art lessons for many years in different mediums.
I've done several things with my kids. I don't really recommend Drawing With Children if you want to keep it simple. In fact, I'm going to purchase this book below for aiding my lessons in drawing because it's short and sweet. It looks easy and I think it will give my students a boost in drawing confidence!
If you have questions, feel free to pm me.
I was just going to suggest Mark Kistler! Great minds think alike!
I just purchased access to his on-line art videos through the Homeschool Buyer's Co-Op at a deep discount. I was waitng for the price to drop and it has (and I had a balance in my PayPal account!).
I just got it today and the children are already enjoying it immensely. Only problem is they all want the computer at once LOL!
I second what Sarah said. It goes back to the perspective of Charlotte's method. Your oldest being just 6 shouldn't need an expensive curriculum. Now I learned to draw and then paint watercolors of our children by just practicing and learning to 'see', and I have watched our children do likewise. And like Sarah said, nature studies is the way to keep at it. They find something outside, bring it in, and go to a table set up with watercolor pencils or simple paints and pencils. We keep ours set up and my 10 children at home draw and paint 4 times a week at a learning station. The key is to paint something in front of you. That way you learn to see it's shadows and textures, and to mix the color just right.
Also agreeing with Sarah about picture study, which inspires us all to 'do likewise'. I know the urge to go and buy is strong in all of us--but honesty, Charlotte said to have faith in the minds of our children. They are truly amazing. Fact is, a dvd or book can help, but doesn't it really boil down to us taking time to really look and often practice that makes us improve on that skill? Now when your children get much older, and if they excel in this area that would be a good time to get the instruction books and take the art classes.
From Vol. 1 "Children of six and seven draw budding twigs of oak and ash, beech and larch, with such tender fidelity to colour, tone, and gesture, that the crude little drawings are in themselves things of beauty. Children have 'Art' in them.––With art, as with so many other things in a child, we must believe that it is there, or we shall never find it." Read on my friend, here, scrolling down to page 313.
I just wanted to let everyone know about a great idea that I received from another homeschooler about this.
We live in a college town and last 2 years she has had a college student tutoring her young daughter in piano. She suggested I try the same thing for drawing instruction with my son. Maybe get a college student to do a 30-60 min session with him once a week and then have him practice at home throughout the week.
I though it was a wonderful idea so I wanted to share.
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I am checking out all of them as well!
Pam, I appreciate what you shared. I can relate to thinking that if I could just buy the perfect thing, we could learn to draw or sing, or whatever the current issue is. It is hard for me to realize that my children need to take baby steps and that in the day by day application of the principles (whether it be art or singing, or narration, and etc.) we will eventually see progress.
Yes, I think you are right- it does "boil down to us taking time to really look and often practice that makes us improve on that skill."
Why is that so hard for me?? For whatever reason, it really is a struggle.
I was going to say, also, I would really love to get Artistic Pursuits. I think after reading this, though, that I will try to be patient about that and make it my goal to focus right now on teaching my children to be observant, and try to draw what they see. I agree that that is the best place to start.
Maybe for me it just comes down to the fact that habit training is just hard. In this case-- being observant. It just seems so much easier to buy a curriculum. :-)
Thanks for being brave and going against the crowd, yoliemiller. You are so right about 'the day to application of principles'. Proven principals for thousands of children. Sometimes we run to something because of fear, or because of the comparison game. Sometimes because we feel inept, or because we don't trust something. Honestly, sometimes we are afraid of training our children/uncomfortable being with them. I know.
My mom is a watercolor artist. Sells her paintings for $500 on average. She told me early on that she really had no natural talent, but it was just lots of small days of practice and observation. My budget is squeaky tight with 9 students. But how wonderful to have the simplest pencils, notebooks and paints set up and watch the children bloom. I do it alongside them. Some are more private and their work is more simpistic--but their observation powers increase daily. Some are blooming artists that astound me.
The same for narrations and reading and all the other wonderful subjects. We can have faith in our children's amazing minds and personalities. We can trust this method. I have tried so many methods in 19 years. Wish I had just settled on this one early on, but I found it just 6 years back or so. It has brought passion into our home. There is no more fear, but much wonder going on. When we doubt, we should get out the Original Series or the CM Companion and read away. We will find new peace about it when we rest in it. Really.
Not sure if you need something or not, but here are a few more possibilities for you to check:
First, visit your library to see if any of the drawing books there appeal to you.
Here are some links with drawing instructions. I'm sure you could find plenty others too. These are just ones that my scholars have used.
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