Friday 21 November 2008

Early Learning

It's a Wednesday and high time to have another 'Kidzart'. I've been reading the excellent 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' , so instead of doing what are essentially craft-based projects with the young 'uns we decide to give them a workshop that will, hopefully, get the creative half of their grey matter working.
We start off by copying drawings which are upside-down... we chose cats and dogs. The fact that the drawing is reversed abstracts the familiar subject matter into shapes, angles and lines. It also discourages using the usual symbols- by this I mean the tendency to think ' this is what an eye's like- round!' , or 'this is how I draw a tail!' . We're careful, also, not to name any of these bits.
The first drawings go well, but they tire after a while-poor mites! and start reverting to what they think or know is there. Or what they believe should be visibly there, eg a dog has four legs so I give it four even if I can't see them all.
We have a break and then they stand at easels like 'real artists' and do a painting of yours truly lying on a couch. We're amazed at how well they work- for forty minutes- remember these are youngsters aged four to eight only- and produce some great pictures. They all have an instinctive sense of design and even if the figure's badly placed in the beginning it's balanced out afterwards, somehow.
Well done Lawrence, Mathieu, Thibaud and Manon! And thanks to their Mums. And for the cake!


DOT said...

I love the pictures - what talent.

I am also grateful for your tips on how to get children to look at what they are drawing. I shall pass them on to the mum of my granddaughter.

Caroline said...

Thanks, Dot, I was surprised at how well they coped.
This is also how we teach grown-ups- who use the same preconceptions and symbols when they're first learning. It's more about learning to see than learning to draw, tho' some hand-to-eye coordination is also needed, and technical bits about the different mediums.