Realism in Kid’s Art

While perusing the marvelous Camp Creek Blog and emailing Lori about some of her entries there about observational drawing outside, I happened to mention (and realize, to begin with) that when Amie draws “from something” outside, she will attain a realism that is (to me) uncanny.

Like the drawing we did a while ago at Drumlin Farm.

Amie's drawing of two stones with Amie, Drumlin Farm (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

This was the situation as captured by the much less inspired camera eye:

2995113845_a8ed90f78f

I was blown away by her rendering of the boulders and of the tree and  the addition of the leaves.  It was the first time she drew a tree. She could so easily imagine herself on top of the boulder. She had some trouble with the sky: where to put it? It was interesting to see her grapple with that problem. (We’ve been talking about how “air” is all around us, even if you can’t see it, and I can see her mind trying the grasp the difference between air and sky – fascinating!)

It was the first time she had spent so much concentrated effort on getting something to look like it actually does to her eye. And I didn’t have to ask her. She saw me trying to get “a good likeness” in my own journal and decided to try that herself.

But what I think really got her going was the fact that we were outside. Has anyone else noticed that with their kids, that the outdoors, nature especially (maybe), changes the child’s artistic mindset to more realism?

While we’re on the topic of art, Amie has a new workstation. It’s a big desk that can grow with her (the top can be raised). We got it for free through Freecycle, in mint shape! It’s big too, with lots of space for several art projects at once: playdough, drawing on the small Biggie, painting on the big Biggie, and cutting out snowflakes…

dscf6819

I’m so happy my comfy chair still fits in the corner, but from now on I think I will simply sit next to her at the desk more often. I might get a nice sitting cushion, though. Those little chairs aren’t very comfortable for bigger bums.

Join the Conversation

3 Comments

  1. My son is still too young to make any art, but I was amazed, amazed at how just going outdoors when he was young would calm him down, immediately. I had never read it in any book, but since then I have heard it from several other Moms.

  2. thank you so much! :^)

    i love to sketch outside, and we bring the outdoors in for sketching, too — leaves, pinecones, shells, etc.

    thanks so much for adding these pictures to the camp creek flickr group! :^)

  3. This is lovely. I am constantly amazed by how children perceive the world around them and translate it into art. As a teacher, I have to say I love to read about a parent who is supporting this at home!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.