Friday, April 22, 2011

An Array of Drawing Materials

I laid out a few drawing materials on the art table for Lucia and one of her close friends to use. The trick worked like a charm. The old crayons and markers took on a new life next to the pastels. I placed them carefully in a line in order to delicately divide their drawing space, given some earlier boundary challenges. They both were quickly engaged, using the tools in very different ways. Lucia's friend used the chalk pastels to make large traces and explore with layers of colors.

Lucia explored the qualities of each tool and talked about the difference in textures. Chalk pastels made thick lines and markers were good for details.

The oil pastels brought in her Dad... Full of memories from his drawing days he was soon making a giant mountain. "It's like the mountain in Frog and Toad," said Lucia. She added the sky, and a hawk, and a long purple path for Frog and Toad to run down the mountain, yelling "We're not afraid!" I wonder if she was inspired by Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Small hands and big hands enjoy exploring with drawing materials. Don't be afraid to stray from the childhood staples. Children learn quickly to take good care of art materials if they are given the opportunity to explore.

Lucia with CARAN d'ACHE pencils, almost 2 years old

Soon enough, story telling, cooperative art and mixed media may follow. And who knows, maybe some early book quoting and referencing might make into your home.

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