There are two kinds of "child art." One is school art that reflects teacher-directed ideas, subjects, and projects. The other is spontaneous art, which is created at will in a child's spare time and in his own style.
Often these drawings go unnoticed, ignored, or are dismissed. Yet, according to Teaching Children to Draw, a Guide for Teachers and Parents, by Marjorie and Brent Wilson, a child's spontaneous work may be far more important to a child's development. Personal drawings allow a child to describe her world and her place within it while developing a fundamental skill.
Our goal is to integrate spontaneous art into our classes and projects; so this month we have been focusing on spontaneous drawing skills beginning with a variety of fun drawing games:
Game 1 is a collaborative drawing game. Each person starts a drawing with a simple shape. Then he passes it to the left and his neighbor adds something to the drawing.
The drawings continue around the table until they reach the original artist, who completes and names the artwork.
This game works best for a group of three to six artists. Our artists ranged in age from 4 to 14.
These examples resulted in a cute little insect, a strange fish, an angry snowman, a furry kitten, a kite creature, and (?)
Game 2 is a tandem drawing game for two artists. Start by folding the drawing paper in half. Using markers, one person draws while the other draws the same thing simultaneously as though s/he knows what the first drawer is about to draw next.
These are samples of what our young artists were able to do. Almost exact duplicates - WOW!
Game 4 is a shadow-drawing game. Wrinkle up a few sheets of paper and place one on each sheet of drawing paper. Set up a spotlight so that the wads of paper project shadows onto the paper and draw around the shapes. Remove the paper wad and decide what the shadow shape looks like to you, then fill in the details. You might see faces, animals, ghosts, demons, or (???)
Game 5 is a collaborative game for three artists. Start by folding a piece of paper into three equal sections so that only the top section shows. Now drawer one draws a head of some kind on this section. The he folds it so that only the center section shows and drawer two fills in a body. Finally he folds it again and drawer three draws the feet (or bottom) of the creature.
Joseph's Drawing Game involves following the directions on drawing cards that they "draw" from a pile. Artists must draw the characters, backgrounds, situations, and genre as instructed. These are a few examples of some of the results!
The kids absolutely loved these drawing games! I hope they will continue to draw on their own with the same richness and creativity demonstrated in these wonderful drawings.