Getting Kids Into Art

You may be scratching your head wondering why your kids aren’t more interested in art. While not everyone is predisposed to be a creative soul, there are some things that you can do to help your kids get into drawing. This is an important first step that you, as an educator, should take seriously to help grow the love of art within your students.

Drawing One Level Below the Students

Instead of focusing on technique, composition or other such serious topics, make sure that your students are first and foremost having fun with their artwork by making their assignments easier and with interesting themes. This is especially important when kids are just beginning to learn drawing. They are much more interested in their television programs than they are in learning art, so use that to your advantage and find interesting themes is on television.
What kind of cartoons or programs do your children regularly watch and how can you incorporate those characters, environments, colors and ideas into your lessons? Remember that for whatever theme you choose the drawing lesson must be easy to complete in order to let the students build self-confidence in their abilities.
Building self-confidence is very important because it will help carry students past the initial learning curve required with drawing. In the beginning the goal should not be to produce proficient little artists, but rather to build enough confidence in each student that they are both interested and able to continue their studies. If we don’t grab them and get them interested when they are just starting out the kids run the risk of developing the ‘I can’t draw,’ attitude then we have surely lost them – at least in the near term.
Your lessons should be technically easy, while still offering lots of room for creative exploration. Also, you shouldn’t be afraid to guide your students by providing examples that they can copy. There is merit in being able to reproduce works of art and this is how many of the most influential artists of all time have learned and developed their skills. Just because a student does not have the “creative spark” to create a work from a blank page, this student should not be denied the opportunity to use his or her artistic talents.

An Easy and Creative Example Exercise

Here’s a sample game that you can use and is a good example of both A) being fairly easy and B) offering room for creative exploration. We used to play this to get our creative juices flowing in high school and had a lot of fun with this one. Your older students will probably get more out of this exercise than younger students as they are more capable at thinking ‘Outside the Box’ and for those students in your class who need some additional assistance, don’t forget to provide some samples for them to look at! Take a piece of paper and draw a few random lines on it. You should use about 3 curved lines that aren’t too long. Just put them onto the blank page. Before giving this assignment to your students – try it out for yourself…
Once you have your 3 random lines places on the page, just sit down and draw something that incorporates the random lines from the first step. When you photocopy and hand out the 3 random drawings to several different students you will quickly see how easy and creative this rewarding exercise can be. ( Mitch Bowler runs a popular how to draw website – where he hosts many easy to follow exercises and drawing videos that help people of all ages learn how to draw for free. )

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