Monday, June 28, 2010

I thought I had better point out that Norah learned how to make "finished" drawings before she started illustrating the pictures you have seen for her narration notebook. I used Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes to introduce her to drawing.

We worked through every drawing exercise the book offers, from the birds...

to the horse...

to the lion.

But the book runs out of exercises. It stops "holding your hand" and eventually, you have to come up with your own, meaningful subject matter for drawings. I found this very challenging until Norah started using the subject matter from the stories we read to come up with pictures to draw. Now Norah usually has an abundance of meaningful and often challenging things to draw.

In the photo above, Norah is in the middle of drawing an illustration for her narration notebook. I encourage Norah to base her pictures off the illustrations in the book and other images we find online. Notice that the book is propped open so that she can see the drawing of a lamp stand from the story we read. I also found the image of a genie's lamp online, so I sat my laptop on the table for her to use as another reference.

I discuss the pictures with Norah before she draws anything. She has to "visualize" what she will draw and how it will fit on the page before she puts marker to paper. These are all strategies Drawing with Children teaches.

This is the picture Norah ended up with that day.

I have to encourage Norah to keep going until her pictures look "finished," meaning they have background details and are filled with color. Sometimes, we have to set a drawing aside and come back to it, if Norah is showing signs of fatigue. It is difficult for a five year old to focus on one task for a long time. But, Norah loves to draw, so she grows eager to return to the task, eventually. And she and I are always proud of what she accomplishes after diligent effort.

2 comments:

The Wilson Family said...

Hey Veronica. How old was Norah when you had her start drawing? (Just trying to catalog in my brain what approx age may be a good time to start). Do you like to draw too? Because I am a terrible artist, so I am afraid my stick figures may not be any help, but I would like her to be much better! BTW, I like the links to books you added to your blog. Is there a trick to going straight to your comments though? I am interested to see what you wrote, but I don't want to read 75 others first...

Veronica Boulden said...

Amy,
Norah was four (almost five) when we started drawing together in earnest, almost exactly one year ago on my blog. Around that time, I saw her (and blogged about her) doing things that lead me to think "We should start Drawing with Children together now." If I remember correctly, she was showing interest in drawing. It was the first thing she always asked to do or went back to. She had real natural ability. I never taught her how to draw things and she would just figure out a way to represent them on paper or chalkboard or white board. She was also asking me, "Can you show me how to draw a horse?" or "Will you draw me the outline of a horse and I will color in the rest of it?" I didn't like drawing anything for, but that meant she was always frustrated because she couldn't do it herself, so I wanted to equip her to draw well enough to satisfy herself and get the picture in her head on paper. I liked to draw when I was a kid and I still draw sometimes when the mood strikes, when a picture comes to mind. I usually like to draw a color sheets that I can put on my blog as a "Printables." The book Drawing with Children would be a good thing to read if you don't think you can draw. Mona Brookes speaks to adults about that. I read the book for the first time when Norah was an infant. And, at that time, I hadn't drawn in years and was feeling really out of practice and insecure about anything I could do. About the books on my blog, if you scroll over their title, a box will pop up with a picture of the book in it and price. Those one to three sentences on the bottom of that box are "my comments." Unfortunately, I could not say a lot about each book. When I want to say more about one book, I think I will have to write a blog post. The program limited how many characters I could use. :( So I said as much as I could, such as buy this when your kid is a baby or wait till she is a toddler, etc. :)