Children are introduced to drawing at a very early age.
Once the scribbling stage has come to an end, children learn to better control their drawing instruments as their fine motor and observational skills develop.
- Is your child interested in drawing and art?
- Are you thinking about signing them up to a course to help improve their technique?
- Maybe you’re an artist yourself and want to share your passion by becoming an art tutor for kids?
Extra-curricular drawing lessons online complement art lessons given in primary school and give the child a good opportunity to develop their relationship with art as they find their talents and broaden their creative outlook.
At What Age Should Children Start Having Drawing Lessons?
Before you start thinking about children's art lessons, your child should have already developed certain drawing skills.
There is one step they need to take when going from sketching for their own amusement to getting the hang of basic drawing techniques.
As Pablo Picasso said:
Before the age of six, children draw for fun. As an activity, drawing helps children develop their motor skills and stimulate their senses – these are just two of the benefits of drawing for youngsters.
Drawing is something that children practice on a daily basis at school and at home.
Drawing and painting workshops usually only aim to help people learn to realistically represent the world. Although this is a method of artistic expression, young children lack the cognitive ability which is necessary to grasping realistic drawing.
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Drawing workshops which are adapted to young children have a different objective. They aim towards encouraging children to use their imagination and their creative abilities.
This is where they learn about colour and space, and get to grips with artistic techniques. Art workshops for children are centred around having fun and letting children freely express themselves.
Quite often, when they’re learning to read, children discover a new passion to explore. All of a sudden, their discovery of books, like the other discoveries they make at a young age, gives them a means of exploring other worlds and playing a role in the stories they read.
If your child continues to go through life with a sketchbook under their arm, it’s clear that their passion for drawing is more than just a hobby.
Once you realise that your child’s passion for art is one that they want to keep developing, you can look into signing them up for drawing classes.
Learning to draw from another person will help them get to grips with the knowledge they need to take their own work to the next level.
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What Happens in Drawing Lessons?
Art lessons should be suitable for the age of the child, but also for their level!
Children who are aged 6-10 don’t have the same capacity for concentration as a teenager. Their low level of maturity and perception of reality means that the lessons they take should be adapted to their age.
This means that the accuracy of the work they are expected to produce and the duration of the session will be different to those of art courses aimed at adults.
Beyond learning new techniques, art lessons should draw on the theories linked to artistic practice. This is why taking drawing lessons is the ideal time to teach children about the famous artists of the past and present, including painters, illustrators and sculptors.
Group sessions are particularly useful in artistic subjects. They facilitate exchange between pupils, stimulate creativity and encourage progress.
· Drawing Lessons for 6 to 11-Year-Olds
For primary school pupils, art lessons are made up of several disciplines which are all linked to the same theme (this could be a particular artist or technique).
Lessons can be broken down into several sections:
- The presentation of a work of art and discussion around its characteristics
- Explanation of the techniques to work with and demonstration by the teacher
- Learners have a go at producing their own work around the theme of the lesson
At this age, mimicking the works of great artists may be nearly impossible, however, the way they can inspire children in their art is invaluable.
It’s also incredibly easy for children to get their inspiration from contemporary artists who rely more on colour and texture – both things that make their work more accessible to younger artists.
For instance, children may look at the work of Keith Haring, an artist whose use of colour greatly appeals to children.
And why not even look at Matisse?
Still life drawings are particularly popular with children at this age.
Still life drawing gives children a chance to work on their observational skills. By choosing to draw a few simple objects and discuss how they should arrange them before beginning to draw.
Interacting and discussing with others before they create their art gives children an opportunity to share their ideas with others and enjoy their work.
Talking with others about their ideas can also stimulate their curiosity and help improve their observational skills.
· Art Lessons from the Age of 12
At age 12, young teenagers will have already developed some skills which will be useful in their art.
At this age, people tend to make their work more realistic. The eye for minute detail which was not developed in childhood becomes an essential part of producing realistic works, and artists begin aiming towards perfecting their technique on a deeper level.
Their ability to concentrate is also greatly increased from that of childhood.
The artist can, therefore, spend more time on their work and their art becomes a means of expression. From landscape drawing to still life to abstract works to impressionism, there are many possibilities for budding artists.
Teens particularly enjoy having a go at learning how to draw cartoons, comic strips, manga and caricature.
Not only do they learn how to draw faces, hands, and scenery like their favourite illustrators, but they also learn about how to tell a story through drawing.
What Should Children be Taught when Learning the Basics of Art?
You can’t really progress in anything until you have mastered the basics, and this applies to art, too. Once children have learnt the essential basic drawing lessons, they can then aim to perfect their technique.
Here are just some of these essential skills (which differ according to the age of the artist):
- Drawing lines: Learning to trace shapes, draw the outlines of objects and keep things in proportion
- Perspective drawings: Moving from 2-dimensional drawings to three-dimensional ones with shading and perspective drawig to make creations more realistic
- Learning to use different tools: Which materials should you use for each effect? Art lessons give children a chance to familiarise themselves with all kinds of tools other than a graphite pencil such as acrylic paint, oil pastels, charcoal, colored pencils, pen and ink.
- Light and shadow: Learning to bring depth to a drawing and faithfully reproduce reality
Learning how to draw is firstly about polishing your attention to detail and learning to master your own movements and control your tools.
The next most important thing is to look to the work of others and their techniques for inspiration in your own work.
When you’re learning to draw, your work is rarely ever finished.
You learn new techniques, think up new ideas, see your style evolve and find new sources of inspiration.
Art is an ever-evolving passion which opens new perspectives to its practitioners.
What Sort of Art Teacher Does Your Child Need?
When children learn how to draw, a teacher with an effective methodology as well as a good level of patience is essential.
Even the greatest artist that ever lived would not be able to teach their profession to children unless they had the capacity for understanding the young mind and adapting teaching to the level of the learners.
When teaching children how to draw, these things are essential:
- Getting on with children and knowing how to capture their attention: Teaching kids is something you are either naturally good at, or need to work harder to get there.
- Making lessons fun: A presentation on the origins of cubism is interesting, but not exactly suitable for primary school children
- Adapting your vocabulary: Even if you have to use complex terms when discussing art, you should try to explain these to children in plain English so that they fully understand what you mean
- Being fair: Of course, you would never tell a child that their work is rubbish. Instead, you should congratulate them on their work and give them advice on how they can make their work even better
- Being enthusiastic: In order to improve, children need encouragement, so it’s important that teachers find alternatives to negative words, if possible
Drawing lessons should be above all enjoyable for the child, allowing them to use their creativity to blossom. To take those first steps or stimulate their artistic sense between lessons, there are even some drawing apps for kids out there.
Drawing gives children an opportunity to relax outside of the academic environment as well as get to know themselves better through developing their observation and artistic skills.
Who knows? Your child might be the next Picasso!
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