JEM started learning to really draw well at 4 and 5 when we started “Drawing with Children” by Mona Brooks. We started using the book as suggested in “The Well Trained Mind” and have had great success because it has helped her and I to learn the five elements of shape which gave us a way to see the shapes in a photo or graphic even still life that we were drawing.
I remember when she was 5 we would pick one of her library books to draw from and look at it for a while trying to see all the shapes in the picture even turning the picture up side down so we can see in the picture instead of looking at the whole thing. The idea is to see the shapes that make up the picture or object and not try and look at the whole thing.
This approach has helped a great deal. I always thought I couldn’t draw or even learn to, but after reading and using “Drawing With Children” it has explained how drawing can be learned by using the techniques in this book.
Above is a slide show of some of JEM’s artwork for this year. The first few are drawing by looking at a graphic which she used a how to drawing book but does not use the steps just the end picture. Then the last few are free hand drawings that she thought up on her own. She is getting better at this but you can see how it is harder if you can’t anticipate what shapes should be used. I think as she keeps practicing drawing from looking at graphics and still life she will learn what shapes should be there naturally.
She has exhibited some of her artwork in 4-H, has won several blue ribbons, and really enjoys drawing. I “Drawing with Children”, but she is a different type of learner so have to approach it later than JEM and in a different way.
Below are some great drawing books to get started with.