Friday, November 2, 2012

Art with Aria: Still Life Drawing

Still Life Drawing

Does anybody else feel like there are simply not enough hours in the day?  My to do list is growing faster than I can mark things off of it.  The house is trashed, but I haven't had a chance to pick up.  I feel like my wheels are spinning but I'm not getting anywhere.  *sigh*  I already need a vacation and the school year just started.   But the good news is that Tansy Dolls hit 1000 fans this week!  Woohoo!!  I think the current count is 1,049 fans!  Head over to our Facebook page to see our special celebration code for $10 off anything in our shop! 

Anyhow, on the bus ride home, I told Aria we would be doing some art together.  She immediately wanted to do some more doodle art.  I guess it really was a big hit with her.  But I couldn't exactly do another blog post about doodle art so I suggested we try something else out.  When I have thought about art projects in the past, I usually think BIG.  Big is fun, but with how busy our lives are currently, I've been finding simple is the way to go.  So we do journaling, doodle art, and now we have a new art project to add to our project folder: still life drawing.  

I know you're probably thinking, "Still life drawing for preschoolers?  Yeah, right."  I had my reservations as well.  Would Aria think the project was fun or would she find it boring?  Would she get the point of still life drawing?  Is still life drawing even an appropriate art project for a 4 year old?  

Like most questions of this nature, I think it depends on the kid.  The great thing is if you find your kid is simply not interested in a project, you can always stop and do something else.

Anyhow, here's how I approached and explained still life drawing with Aria. First, I told her that she could pick out something from around the house.  I did explain that she would be attempting to draw this item so she might want to pick something she would actually like to draw.  Not too surprising but she picked a little stuffed animal: a kitty that I made her last year.

We set up a little space on her bed where she could prop up her chosen item and sit back comfortably to draw.  

It took Aria some time to figure out the point of still life drawing.  She started straight off drawing a cat but she was clearly using her imagination to draw the feline.  Normally, this is great.  But not exactly the point of still life drawing.  I simply gave her a gentle reminder that she was attempting to draw what she was looking at. I only had to remind her once.  Once she understood what the point of the project was, she became quite serious about it all. 

It was actually kind of cute how intense Aria was about studying her little stuffed animal.  The thing about still life drawing is that while its not exactly a study in creativity, it is a study in shapes and form.  As Aria drew, she was making connections between what she was looking at and how she could combine different shapes and lines to mimic what was before her. If your child is older, you can talk about how shading can add the illusion of shadow and light or how to use the horizon line to add depth and represent three dimensional objects on paper.  Since Aria is only four we stuck with simple shapes and line drawing.

After the doodle art project, Aria was rather insistent that Mom participate as well.  Yes, that means I drew my own version of the kitty. 

We talked about both our pictures and shared what we liked about each.  We also talked about how they were different even though we were drawing the same thing, but that each was great in its own way.  I was a little concerned when Aria asked me to draw my own picture that she might be discouraged if she thought my drawing came out closer to the original.  But instead I found that my daughter has her own personal sense of pride and it was nice to see it come out.  Aria was able to compliment me on my drawing, while still being very confident that her artwork was fabulous as well. 

If you try out still life drawing with your kid(s), stop by and let us know.  I'd like to hear how it turned out.  And don't forget to head to our Facebook page and check out that $10 coupon for anything in our shop!


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