Saturday 14 February 2009
WHICH ONE WAS DONE BY AN ADULT?
One of the above drawings was not done by a child. Can you spot which one it is?
Children are natural artists - until adults get hold of them that is. Unfortunately for kids, -and unless adults are very careful - they often become an inhibiting factor. "What on earth is that?" is not a good response to a young child's spontaneous and energetic scribble.
Most parents will have noticed that young children will usually draw bold, large objects in the centre of a decent size sheet of paper. The result is invariably charming in it's spontaneity and freshness.
So that's the key. Kids like to be creative on a large scale. The larger the better. If you won't let them draw on your walls, at least provide them with large pieces of paper. Strong, thick, bold felt tipped pens in various colours are also a good idea. Encourage them to always put their name and the date on the best pieces - the ones they may want to keep. (Old photographs bring back a flood of memories when we look at them - drawings done in the past can have an even more potent effect on our memories. And it's always great fun to look at old sketches).
Unfortunately, friends, peers, older children, adults and even teachers can have a negative effect on this natural creativity.
A snippet of advice for teachers: never, never start children off by saying things like, "To draw a human face, we start with an oval. Then we divide it in half and put the eyes on this bisecting line..." That's absolute claptrap. (I wish I could use a stronger word here, but I can't because Lynne will change it when she corrects my spelling). But the point is that this kind of advice will certainly stifle creativity. Formulae are for maths - not for art. Unfortunately, there is lots of this kind of art instruction around. But these "rules" are inhibiting, anti-creative, negative and rubbish. Avoid them at all costs.
When discussing art with children, please remember that the idea is NOT to try to get them to paint or draw like adults. The objective is to get them to be as creative as possible when they transfer what they think or see onto a two dimensional surface.
When looking at children's art, never forget what Picasso said about himself: "As a child I drew like Raphael, it took the rest of my life to draw like a child."
So, which of the drawings was not done by a child?
1. Paul by Justin. 2. Amarillis by Lynne. 3. Car by Jack. 4. Queen by Yolande. 5. Fosters can by Paul. 6. Ray painting the Eiffel Tower by Tess.
The answer is, my wife Lynne did the drawing of the amaryllis on a birthday card she did for me.
Posted by Ray Johnstone at 12:17