“How come no one else draws?” Zoe was asking me after noticing that we were the only ones sketching in a crowded day at the museum.
After doing lots of reading in that matter this is a brief answer with some suggested links for more.
Leaving the Getty museum after a long and thrilling day
All children draw
As infants we begin to draw before we learn to talk, we start by making scribbles. Around the age of two, children put some of the scribbles into definite placement pattern. By the age of three children make diagrams with single lines forming crosses and other shapes such as circle and triangle. Soon after that the child starts to combine the symbols and shapes into familiar line objects. At approximately four years of age the child does pictorial work. He/she draws representation of human, animals, building, vegetation and other objects. The objects then turn into depiction of stories and recording of events. The child starts to organize objects in space by adding the baseline for his/her drawings a representation of ground and sky. By the age of 5-6 all children are SELF TAUGHT how to draw. As long as one gives the child art supplies, space to work and no constrains from adults, the child’s imagination will bloom. This age is referred to as “the golden age of drawing” Art Mind and Brain by Howard Gardner .
When do children STOP drawing - The crisis of realism
By the age of 8-9 schematic drawings become more realistic, and many children exhibit greater visual awareness of the things around them. As a result, they become increasingly conscious of details and proportion in what they are drawing. The need to make the picture look “right” leads to a crisis for many older children. In trying to draw realistic, children often get disappointed of their own drawings. They are becoming more critical in their graphic depictions and gradually STOP engaging in DRAWING activity.
(This is my sales pitch) - Why is it important to draw
Drawing is the BASICS to creative thinking. It is through drawing that one trains the eye to notice details and understand how things are put together and work. A beneficial self perpetuating circle of learning is initiated, observation makes better drawing and drawing motivates better observation. “I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle.” Fredrick Franck the Zen of Seeing, 1973.
Most schools today don’t value the skill of drawing as much as they should, drawing is considered to be play and as soon as kids learn how to read and write drawing become an enrichment activity for about 45 minutes a week. This leaves us, the parents, responsible for helping our children gain drawing skills so they become CREATIVE ADULTS. For parents who can draw that’s an easier task. For the parents who claim they can’t draw, this is a great opportunity to learn it again, together with their kids. My brother always says that for him having a son is a second chance to try things he didn’t do when he was a child. Remember: EVERYONE CAN DRAW. drawing, like writing and reading, is a skill and not a gift.