Learn to Play Again with Art

Want to Play Again with Art!

Have you ever observed small children when they are given a collection of art supplies and a canvas or paper?
There is no hesitation. They do not dip their toes in the water to test the temperature. In fact, they dive in not knowing the depth of the water or the temperature. They do not care. Why? They are not afraid to play again with art.
Small children are natural artists. They love their art. They are proud of their art. You have a fridge full of paintings and drawings to prove it.

Play is the Work of Children

They are born with an innate sense that the world is a playground. Everything they do is play. They experiment and if something does not work they keep trying. We learn to walk by falling and falling and falling.
Somewhere along the road to adulthood we stop playing. Some people keep playing and are normally ones that become entrepreneurs.

How Children Learn to Draw

When children are young they draw imaginatively.  They play as they draw. Art is play, to them. As they start to grow up they pass through a door of no return. They enter a phase where their drawings are now realistic. They see that scribbly stick figure for what it really looks like to everyone else. When they were younger they saw the Mona Lisa after they finished it. They wanted to show all their art work off and could not wait to do more.
This point arrives and most children have not been taught the technical skills to keep playing. They stop playing because it is not fun anymore. They want drawings and paintings that they can show off and be proud of and they have no idea how to do that. When art is not fun anymore they go on to something else.
dad and little girl painting

What Happens if Children Do Not Learn to Draw?

The other scenario is that before they reach the point where they enter the land of realism a teacher tells them in front of a class that their work is wrong. That will end their joy faster than it would normally happen.
We play because play is enjoyable. We do not gravitate towards things that are hard or make us feel insecure. Young artists develop a fear that stifles creativity. That fear can be with them all their lives and they are totally convinced that they cannot draw or paint.
I meet these adults and older children all the time. Even professional artists can be stifled by fear. Creative people are known for their insecurity. Even though I try to instill in my students that their opinion of their work is the only thing that matters, I still want people to love my work and so do they.

So, How Do We Learn to Play again with Art?

We need to think like small children. We need to redeem that bravado when faced with a pile of art materials. How does that happen? Baby steps! You cannot paint a Mona Lisa on your first day but you can paint a small flower or simple landscape if you follow detailed instructions.
When I teach a class to “non” artists, they enter the room with trepidation and fear. They all tell me they are useless at the subject but they have a desire to paint.
I sit them down and slowly walk them through why they are using the materials I give them and how to paint a simple picture one part at a time. Little by little a picture appears. It is a painting of something that looks realistic. By the end of the class their heads are held high and they are chattering about where to buy art materials like excited little children. They are playing again because the fear dropped away. Learning to play again does not happen on its own. It is a journey. It is one that can happen if you find the right teacher and catch their passion in any subject not just art.

Art Should Be Fun

girls enjoying painting
Thou shalt sit for hours doing tedious drawings to learn perspective.  Did you really think art should be fun?

How Should Art be Taught?

This is the experience of many students in art classes all over the country. If anything is going to dampen the excitement of a budding artist it would be to sit for hours and hours drawing tiny lines on a picture of an office building. The occasional student might enter the foray that has a future career in architecture. This type of learning experience would make them giddy, but for most people it would be tedious.

Learning to Draw

Drawing is the foundation of art. This is a universally held opinion. It is also true that practice is the only way that an artist grows and improves. Practice, practice, practice is how you get to become an accomplished technician in drawing and painting.
I am not sure where someone implemented the rule that practice has to be boring but, often the practice part of art ends up being just that.
Some children are born with a natural gift that makes drawing easy. Natural artists see the world differently. However, any child can be taught to see like an artist. This is where the divide grows between naturally gifted children, and ones who are not. If you do not find a subject easy then you have to work harder to improve. If that time spent improving is not enjoyable then you will not gravitate towards that subject at all.
kids using art supplies

What if the Student Loses Interest?

Usually, a student loses interest because the practice is boring and he’s not excited about what he is doing in the first place.
What if you could slip practice into art but make it fun. A bit like putting ground up broccoli into tacos or some other exciting dish. It is there but, you do not know it is there. It is good for you but you do not see it.
The flame of desire to paint and draw can get thoroughly quenched when children go from drawing imaginatively to drawing realistically. It is a path that is inevitable. When they pass through that door they will either have the knowledge to keep their confidence as an artist or it will be gone. Normally it is gone for the majority of children because they are not taught how to draw realistically at an early age. So, when they realize that their stick figure is not the Mona Lisa, and it really is a stick figure, they are embarrassed and stop painting and drawing.

art projects

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Can Art be Fun?

So, the question is, can art be fun? It can be but it has to be taught in a certain way. The whole philosophy of teaching has to be rearranged. If art were fun, more children would be excited and want to practice more.
If students are hand held through each process of a picture that never leaves them in a position to fail their confidence grows. Also, if they are taught foundational techniques that are woven into a painting they want more. Their little faces beam with excitement and pride. They keep that love for the subject because they can do it, and they know they can.

Yes, Art Should be Fun!

This concept of teaching developed because as a young mom I saw my daughter shrivel up in an art class. I had outsourced that part of her education because I was a young mum with 4 tiny children and I was in survival mode. The teacher held up her work in front of the class and criticized it. That was it, she was done with art. Until that point I had not thought about the teaching side of art much. I was one of those people that just did it.
So, I started to teach when I could finally find my way out of the kitchen and laundry room to other venues. I taught my classes with the student in mind. Make it fun and exciting and get them jazzed and confident and they will want to paint and draw more. Treat them like an artist from an early age and give them technical skills. Teach them how to use professional materials rather than cheap ones that give very little satisfaction.  An art school was born. There is no right or wrong way to teach art, but there is a better way. Art should be fun!
This post is part of the 10 Day Tips for Homeschool Moms series. Read the rest of the series, here.

How Artists Draw Anything They See

artist drawing a princess with art supplies around
This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on a link, BSF will receive a small commission. Thank you for helping to keep this blog running.

When you go to a museum or an art gallery it is very easy to make the assumption that the artist conjured the painting up from their memory or drew it by looking at an object. (This is the general assumption of how artists draw.)

Artist Rarely Draw from Memory

This could be true but it might not be. There are no rules in art. Tracing or copying your own photograph is not a bad thing. Once you learn to draw you have nothing to prove to anyone and getting an image onto paper or canvas the fastest way and as perfectly as possible is the objective. As long as, you do not use another person’s image without their permission and sell it as yours. Using other people’s images to practice is fine and has been used for 100’s of years as a way to improve.

How Artists Draw Perfectly?

It is not only a learned skill to draw something and make it look realistic, it takes time. In order to not starve as an artist, they need to produce pieces to sell. Time is money. Centuries in the past they were using techniques to recreate images on the canvas or paper to save time. What they did with those images is incredible regarding their skill as a painter. The “masters” of previous centuries really did paint masterpieces. ( In my humble opinion).
If the finished work is a painting then the drawing beneath is just a map of where to apply the paint. Spending 5 hours trying to get everything in the right place could dampen the enthusiasm and creativity of the artist not to mention valuable time wasted.
If you want to paint a picture you do not have to spend hours getting the image drawn if you do not want to. I meet many students that have no interest in learning how to draw, they just want to paint. They get immense joy from painting but, they just want to dabble and have fun. They have no intention of doing anything more at that moment in time. Art should be fun. As a teacher, I want to inspire and encourage my students. I want them to finish my class and then ask me what paints and brushes to buy.
painted sea scape

Do I Have to Learn to Draw? I just Want to Paint!

If you do not want to learn to draw and you just want to paint then go ahead. You make the rules with your artwork. There are many tools and methods that allow you to do this. However, saying that, there are benefits to learning to draw. Drawing is the foundation of art. Famous artists like Picasso were classically trained, that foundation allowed him to be very creative.
homeschool supplies
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Music and Art, Perfect Together

I always compare art to the way music is taught. If you learn the piano or guitar using the classical technique you know which notes sound beautiful together, how what a scale is, and how to play one and all the other very technical information that goes along with learning an instrument.
There are other ways to learn an instrument. For people that are more interested in having fun and singing along to a song that they can play there is the chord method. It is faster and easier and requires much less practice to achieve a song. When people can play a song in a few hours they want to learn more and play more songs.

Art Should be Fun!

Most people just want to paint a picture. I noticed that when I taught older students how to paint a picture in a two hour class they got really excited. My thought was why not do this when teaching children. Why does learning to draw and the repetition needed have to be boring? Also, why is perspective taught by making children sit with a ruler drawing every window on a tall office building? Why not draw some people on a beach with some near and some far away? Learning to draw is foundational, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly complicated.
From years of learning and teaching, a fun incremental curriculum was born. You can draw from memory but, you do not have to. After all, that’s how artists draw!
This post is part of the Tips for Homeschool Moms series, check out other posts by 18 bloggers on everything homeschool moms need to know…oh, and don’t miss the amazing giveaway. Find out more about both, here!

Can You Draw? Art Skills vs Talent

art instruction

This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on a link, BSF will receive a small commission. Thank you for helping to keep this blog running.

-Can you draw?

-No, I’m not talented! Asking can you draw is like asking if I have a million dollars in my back pocket.

Does that sound familiar? Most adults think that they have no artistic talent. They were raised to believe they will never be able to create anything beautiful. However, everyone has the capability to be an artist. We are all born with the desire and ability to be creative. Over the years, though, we have been conditioned that only those with talent can draw or paint or just make anything that is beautiful

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What if I have no talent?

It is true that there are those born with amazing talent. Leonardo DaVinci could draw a perfect circle. A perfect circle by hand! That is astounding. He was incredibly gifted and had talents that go far beyond art and drawing. Does that mean that only the Davincis of our day should learn art? No!

When you learned to read, did only the talented children learn? No! If you learned how to play an instrument, were lessons only available to the talented children? No! Yes, some children will read better, and there are wildly talented musicians. However, talent has nothing to do with learning.

art instruction

How should art be taught?

Art has been pushed further and further out of our educations. It’s seen as an extra. Maybe if you have talent, you will receive decent instruction. For the most part, true art instruction exists only at art school or in specialized programs. Even then, the students there have a natural aptitude, so the foundational principles are often skipped.

So how should one learn art? The same way you learned to read! Art instruction is based in skills. Everyone should receive instruction in basic skills. This is the missing link between those who are artists and those who think they have no talent. Those you did not learn how to draw, how to break objects into shapes, etc will never be able to draw realistically.

When you learned to read, you learned step by step. After you mastered a concept, you moved onto the next one. You practiced and practiced. There were plenty of times that you made mistakes. Little by little, though, you learned to read. Now, you can read without even thinking about it. That is how art should be taught, to every child! (And every adult if you never learned!)



Learn to Draw this Christmas

stocking stuffer

This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on a link, BSF will receive a small commission. Thank you for helping to keep this blog running.

Do you think you can draw?

That is the question whether it is no blood of the soul? No, sorry, this is an art post, not a Shakespeare one! But if I pose that question to you, you might have set your heart fluttering a bit because you know, I can’t draw, she’s going to ask me to draw something. I’m not going to ask you to draw anything yet. But I want you to think about that question and how you would answer if we were together.

And you would probably elaborate on the fact that you can’t draw by telling me that you can draw a stick figure. You have no artistic skill. You’re not gifted, you know, talented. You can’t draw on paint.

stocking stuffer blog hop

Child Art Genius at Work

Now, if I ask a small child that question, the answer would be the absolute opposite. there be a resounding yes, of course, I can draw. Why are you asking me that question? You’ve seen my magnificent pieces. I show them to you every week. You know that I do stuff at home after class and I bring it in. I like to show you all the stuff that mom puts on the fridge and, and I’m really excited about art and I’m brilliant at it. I’m absolutely magnificent at it, actually.

Where do that enthusiasm and confidence go? Because it somewhere disappears between childhood and adulthood. And why is that? Why are small children filled with confidence and enthusiasm, and adults have none? Absolutely none.
So I’m here to answer that question, and also to stop that disappearance from happening.  I am the homeschool and have eight children. There’s only have two left in my little homeschool now, but at one time there were eight and I did survive. I’m also a trained artist. Homeschooling is hard work. Who has time for complicated lessons?

“Wish I Could Draw”

You probably wish you could draw. You’ve spent most of your life wishing you had the talent to be an artist, just for your own enjoyment. So, you are completely overwhelmed by the thought of teaching your own children how to draw. You know that they would love to learn, but where do you begin?

Now, imagine your home filled with enthusiastic budding artists that keep creating day after day for the rest of their lives.  In fact, the love and confidence to create don’t have to disappear. It’s a shame that most people lose that enthusiasm for art and being creative. They go through their life, not painting and drawing anymore. We are born artists who were born loving art and we lose it. Wouldn’t it be exciting if we didn’t lose it? So are you ready to find out how not to lose that excitement, enthusiasm for art in your home?

Easily Learn to Draw

Give your family, and yourself, the gift of learning to draw this Christmas. Our Art Camp will change the way you see the world. You will learn to see it as an artist and draw what you see. Art Camp is a fantastic way to learn basic drawing techniques and concepts. It is built for students age 5-95! You can spend your Christmas break creating together–beautiful drawing and happy memories. It makes the perfect stocking stuffer for the whole family!

 Stocking Stuffer Blog Hop

Speaking of stocking stuffers, give a gift that keeps on giving this year! Twelve bloggers have come together to share their best products with you. Each of these was crafted with love to bless your homeschool! All virtual products will supply a beautiful gift certificate for you to gift or stuff into a stocking. Happy Shopping!

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Spanish Animals

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Charlotte Mason Music


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