|Drawings by my daughter|
Top: by my daughter, Middle: by my little boy, Bottom...um, by me.
Ed Emberley's books are amazing - they have rows and rows of drawing sequences that show you how to build up from the initial shape to the finished picture, indicating the lines and shapes that need to be drawn at each stage. This appeals to me as it's the way that I taught my daughter to draw when she was very small, although with a lot less visual appeal than Ed Emberley. Wanting to draw a picture of a house as a toddler she was overwhelmed, until it was broken down into a series of sequentially drawn squares and rectangles...it's the same with wishing to draw a horse as an older child - it's helpful to have it fragmented (that's where we really need Ed....horses have always foxed me and my daughter has long outgrown my rudimentary drawing instruction). As well as his Faces book, we are also tempted by his Drawing Book of Animals, and perhaps most usefully, his Make a World book, which covers the drawing of most things you might like to include in a picture.
I know that some might dislike this formulaic method when it comes to childrens' drawings, but for me, I think rather than removing creativity, it enables it. Once the elements that make for a well drawn face or horse are demonstrated, it's then a springboard for creativity, producing things that look like the artist hoped they might, rather than feeling frustrated that things never come together on paper as they do in one's head.
They make for perfect rainy-day summer fun...or even early morning fun, as I was greeted by the book and a small boy coming into my bed at 6.30am this morning. Do you have any similar book or activity recommendations?