Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Note on Rowan's Recent Artwork

This is how our table often looks these days.

Since the beginning of January or so Rowan has spent a good chunk of every day drawing, which has been so fun for Pat and me to watch. Before starting school last fall, he really did not draw except for the occasional person and a lot of scribbling. Which always made me feel a bit remiss in my parenting. I really had no idea how to teach him (I can't draw), or if I should teach him (isn't this something kids just do on their own?), and though we have a plethora of art supplies I'm just not able to sit down and do much artwork of any kind with the kids very often.

But slowly, slowly, his drawings have become more and more detailed. Last week Rowan had his friend Sebastien over to play. When they asked to do some drawing I readily agreed and got down all the necessary supplies. Looking at their finished pictures I realized that their trees were the same. Their flowers were the same. They had been coloring in their windows the same way. The houses had the same general shape. This is something I have noticed with the artwork he brings out of school too--it looks almost identical to every other kids' artwork. It seems there is little creativity in his class. Is this how it is in all schools at this age? At all ages? Is it a good way to do things at the beginning? On the one hand I feel like creativity is being squashed a bit, but on the other hand, Rowan loves drawing now. And coloring! Something else he didn't do before last fall.

Which brings me to the Ed Emberely drawing books he has fallen in love with. Auntie Katie got the kids one for Christmas, and then I picked up another two for them a couple of weeks ago. They are fabulous!! Rowan (and me too!) has been drawing trucks, trains, farms, deserts, etc., and having so much fun with it. I am not at all opposed to drawing I don't know why it irks me a bit that all the children in his class at school are obviously getting pretty specific instructions on how to do their art projects. It's not all that different from what goes on with a book on how to draw things.


  1. I always seem to have trouble leaving comments here, so this one probably won't work either (it's Eve).
    In response to your question, no, I don't think all schools encourage similar art work. At least, we don't at my school. My kids love to draw - we have to have some sort of drawing out all the time, but the pictures are almost always unique to the child -- tho each child definitly has his/her style!
    On the other hand, if Rowan really enjoys drawing now I'd say he'll probably stick with it and begin working on his own stuff -- which I'm sure he does whenever he's drawing at home! And I like books that give some simple suggestions on how to draw things - I am a big advocate of kids doing their own drawings, but I think it can be really tough to know where to start without something to look at! Glad he's really liking drawing now!

  2. I think the most important thing is that he's having fun and building confidence. His drawings will probably take on a life of their own from there.