How to talk to children about their Art work?

 

Many of my parents feel incapable of teaching or working with their child on Art because they have not taken up Art before.

 

"I don't know how to make it better." 

"I can't draw for nuts"

"I can't teach him how to draw that, because I don't know how to draw that either."

 

Well, my question is, what is it that you would like to teach your child? Is it really to teach him how to draw that particular object? Or to teach him to look at something and enjoy the process of drawing, creating and experiementing? Does your child's drawing have to look GOOD or REAL in order to justify that he is doing Art?

 

If you can drop the idea that you need to HELP your child produce a very wonderful drawing, then perhaps, I can share with you how I work with my studio children. I never ever help them with their drawing. I never hold their hands, I don't draw templates, I don't draw on the white board (Even if I have one on my wall), I won't draw on their paper. 

 

I simply talk to them. I ask them questions. I ask them questions about their drawing. I ask them about what they are drawing. I ask them what do they see?

 

Allow me to give you an example.

 

 

[left] pre-drawing drawn by Faith (5 year-old)

[right] self portrait by Faith (5 year-old) after coaching

 

 

Notice how the first drawing lacks much details. Ask yourself, what would you be curious about in this first drawing? If you have never met Faith before, what kind of questions can you ask to find out more of how she looks like. Assume you never met a human being before. Assume you came from Mars.... Armed with such intense curiousity, talk to your child.

 

Ask your child whether they have big eyes. Ask them about the shape of their eyes. what about their mouth? Does their mouth have any shapes? What about the body? What do they have on their body. Expand, and discuss with them. Then get them to draw it again, or add it in. 

 

Ask your questions without expecting any right answers. Allow them to think. Allow them to question and improve. Allow them to discover that they missed out on their big eyes and braids. Allow them to go "Oh! I forgot to draw my eye brows." 

 

Thats all that's needed my dear parents... a conversation and someone who is willing to have it with them without telling them what to do.

 

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