All Children Can Draw: Book of the Week GIVEAWAY

February 21, 2011

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Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: ish by Peter H. Reynolds

Why we love this book:

Have you ever had a passion that was crushed with one careless comment from someone? Ramon’s passion is drawing; then his brother makes one careless comment. Suddenly, Ramon’s passion turns into a struggle. That is until Ramon’s younger sister Marisol opens his eyes to his own works of art. “And Ramon lived ishfully ever after.” Every child needs a Marisol in their life to keep their creative flame burning.

Drawing with Children

I’m an education nerd! I read books about how and why children learn like they are great thrilling novels. In fact, I cannot read them before I go to sleep or I’ll stay awake all night with ideas spinning in my head. One of my most recent finds that really stimulated my thinking was Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes. Here is her theory in a nutshell: Everyone can learn to draw. All young children draw developmentally until about the age of  eight or nine. Somewhere around this age, children begin to get frustrated with their drawing because their drawings do not look realistic. Consequently,  most children decide they cannot draw and they stop.

Brookes approaches drawing like learning how to play an instrument. Basic drawing skills must be taught for a child to move from developmental drawing to realistic drawing. I want to stress that Brookes is an advocate of developmental drawing. So relax, she’s not trying to push children developmentally. She simply believes that everyone can draw. Yes, even you!

For well over 10 years I have been reading books on Emilia Reggio. The focus on art, drawing and nature has intrigued me. So after reading Drawing with Children, I decided we’d put the theory of “everyone can learn to draw” to the test. I’ll be checking back in with you as we make our way through the exercises. If it works, you’ll see what great artists we are. If not, well you’ll see that too. Pick up your own copy and please join us on this artistic journey!

Exercise 1: The Starting Point

Supplies: No pencils, no erasers (You will not be erasing! Seriously, no erasing!)

  • black fine tip markers (at a minimum)

Not sure we followed the directions but we also used:

  • color markers fine tip for drawing (we used Sharpies)
  • color markers for coloring (we used Crayola)
  • colored pencils
  • paper (we used thick white card stock)

The Rules: No erasing. No starting over. No talking! What? No talking?! Brookes really pushes the no talking while drawing concept, allowing the artist to concentrate without being interrupted. Yeah, we broke the no talking rule. We’re a bunch of big talkers and sharers. But we put on some soft music and really tried our best to talk a little less than usual.

The assignment: Draw a house, a person, a tree, flowers & bushes, and at least five other “things” of your choosing.

Follow-up: Write down how you felt during the assignment.

Drawing with Children, Miss Enigma, age 4

Miss Enigma is usually free to draw anything she likes. She was a little apprehensive about drawing the required items. “Mommy can you help me draw.” I simply encouraged her and she was shortly over her apprehension. She was quite pleased with her drawing.

Drawing with Children, MacGvyer, age 7

As many of you already know, MacGyver is artistic and he certainly can draw. At first this exercise was very frustrating for him. He is rarely given an artistic “assignment.” He is accustom to much more freedom. When he started he was unhappy with the look of his house and he kept saying he couldn’t draw a person. He wanted to start over. (Erasing and starting over is against the rules.) All of this was surprising because MacGyver always draws with markers and is always very confident. After stressing that this activity was just for fun and that later we would learn how to draw a person he relaxed and had fun.

Drawing with Children, Mommy, age 40ish

Here’s the thing, once upon a time, I could actually draw. I spent hours in my room drawing. While I was no DaVinci, I could draw. But I never took a drawing class. I hated being told what to draw. Drawing for me was relaxing and fun. But it has been literally ages since I’ve sat and drawn. I was shocked how uncomfortable this assignment made me feel. I felt just like MacGyver, “I can’t draw a person! I can’t remember how to draw a realistic house!” I had to tell myself to lighten-up and just draw.  We’ll see if I can actually go through this learning curve myself.

These are some of the supplies I purchased for our homeschool art class. Again, won’t you join us? I’m not an arts and crafts kind of gal but I love art. Drawing with Children is a real learning guide, rather than a bunch of cutsie activities.

If you don’t homeschool, this would be a great summer activity to do with your children.

Life with Jeannine

We’re GIVING AWAY one hardcover copy of  ish by Peter H Reynolds.

To enter this contest, just answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

Who is your Marisol? Who has encouraged you when you were ready to give up? (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)

The Rules:

One entry per person, please.

No entries after 8:00 pm Central Time, Thursday, February 24, 2011

The winner must be a resident of The United States.

The winner will be selected at random and announced Friday, February 25, 2011. Check back it might be you!

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Alice February 21, 2011 at 7:13 pm

That drawing book looks absolutely fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing!

Robin February 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Love it. I think if I do not win I will try to find one. Doodlee do!

Traci Best February 22, 2011 at 7:58 am

My personal Marisol was my 6th grade art teacher. She cut us loose with some mediums and ideas that were genius. I ended up attending a summer art academy two summers in a row…simply because she cared.

I hope to instill that same love of creativity in my children!

Anissa February 22, 2011 at 8:08 am

We have checked the Drawing with Children book out several times from the library. I have to admit that Bethany hasn’t embraced the lessons that much though. I guess I am her Marisol to continue to inspire her. But I think that is the job of all Mom’s for their children. As for me, my husband would be my Marisol. He definitely inspires me!

Deb February 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm

What an interesting assignment, I might try this with my own kids. I don’t think I had a Marisol….how sad.

Ellen February 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm

My “Marisol” would be a good friend, Debbie. She is always able to help me see how to do ____ better!

Thanks for visiting me at A Season for All Things. I’m your newest follower (and a fellow homeschooler of 4 high schoolers)! ~ Ellen

Heather February 23, 2011 at 1:02 am

I love watching my kids drawling and see how their mind works and this book seems interesting and would love to read more. THanks for sharing.

Ellie February 24, 2011 at 12:30 pm

My husband has given me some really crucial encouragement when I was ready to give up on some school & career-related projects. I’m so grateful because he was right and I got through it!
The book looks great!

maryanne February 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm

My hubby is probably my Marisol =)

I keep meaning to get that “Drawing With Children” book, I’ve heard so many good things about it!

Merelyn February 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Interesting. You guys are about to receive Boe’s artwork and this week’s giveaway is a drawing book. If he repeats what he drew on the chalkboard for you, you’ll get a map to your house.

Merelyn February 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Oh, and my Marisol is my hubby.

Jeannine February 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm

It sure is nice to see that so many hubbies are your Marisol! :) I would have to ditto that!

sloane October 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Thank goodness for Pinterest! This is a fabulous article! I will be hunting down a copy of Drawing w/ Children very soon. As for Ish, it is one of our favorites. :)

Jeannine October 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Happy we could help you find a drawing with children resource. We strongly believe that all children can express themselves through the arts! Happy drawing Sloane.

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