Sunday, 5 February 2012

Time to Draw

Drawing is a favourite past time in our house.  We all enjoy the simple pleasure of drawing.  After reading Amanda Soule's book  The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections Family Draw Time Art Show it inspired me to start Family Drawing Time.  A chance to draw, reflect, to chat and to be together.  Between school, sports, dancing and work, this time enables us to be together as a family.  My favourite time in the whole wide world.

This tradition started about 4 years ago and it is amazing how it has evolved over that time.  It's also incredible to see how our drawings have changed too.

When we started, we managed to have Family Drawing Time at least once a month but in all honesty, that hasn't happened as of late.  Sometimes the kids instigate the asking "Can we please have Family Drawing Time?" or I suggest it when emotions are running high or when the weather keeps us inside.

This designated drawing time has boosted both Patrick and Grace's confidence in their drawings and creativity.  I love hearing them praise each other on their drawings and also how they give critical advice on how it can be improved.

So, this is how it works...

What you need:

  1. Individual drawing books (This way all drawings are kept and used as a record over time)
  2. Good quality sketch pencils (sharpener and eraser)
  3. Good quality coloured pencils (I think good quality supplies encourages the budding artist to strive to do their best)
  4. Water colour pencils (Have a glass of water and a paint brush ready too)
  5. Gather some inspiration - magazine cutting, illustrations, still-life pictures, flowers - anything that will inspire the budding artists
I keep all of our art supplies in a bag that I sewed.  The children embroidered the little pocket.  The bag enables everything to be on the ready when it's time to start.

We 'try' to limit the conversation so we can all focus on our drawings. It makes the time more reflective and relaxing.  In fact, sometime I put on some classical music.  Even though we are all together we are focusing on our individual work
 We usually draw the same thing or related to a particular theme.  We take it in turns to suggest a theme or an object.  Some of ours have been - anything French, Australiana, something on the table, mermaids, mythical creatures, Santa Claus (Christmas time), something from our garden...the list goes on and on.  Use your imagination or something that will inspire your own family.

At the end of the drawing time we discuss each drawing.  Everyone says what is good about a particular drawing and also gives some words on what they could have done better or improved.  It's amazing how these little suggestions are used in the next session.  One day Patrick told Grace that she could have used darker lines to outline a particular shape and what do you know, next drawing there were darker lines and she could tell that it did improve her picture.

Watching the kids develop their artistic selves is a tremendous gift.  One that I treasure.  The way that they express themselves is so unique.  It tells me so much about their character, how they concentrate, how they learn, what inspires them and who they are. 

What next...I'm thinking Family Craft Night or maybe even Family Sewing Night. 

Do you have a family tradition that you share as a whole family?

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