Draw like no-one’s watching

Happy New Year and welcome to my first blog post of 2017.

I wanted to start the new year off by sharing some ideas about childhood drawing I have come across recently.  In my pre-school and after school club classes I am privileged to see a broad range of developmental stages in drawing.  I absolutely love the freedom and creativity that comes from a child recording the world as they see it, free of inhibitions.  My own son has as very distinctive ‘style’ and while his drawings bear little resemblance to the actual thing from a technical perspective they capture the essence as he perceives it perfectly.  I thought you might like to see his shark drawings at this point as they are just about my favourite ever art work! I love the way he has tried to draw it from different perspectives despite the challenging nature of the subject matter.  I think a lot of adults would have a hard time drawing a shark head on!  The expressions are priceless but he has captured what, for him, makes a shark a shark (teeth, eyes and fins).


This is such a precious time and one that should be nurtured as it is often all too quickly gone.  Many famous artists have often sought to regain the spontaneity and freedom had as children. An article on the Tate website points out that artist John Ruskin, in the 1800’s encouraged artists to try to recover what he called the “innocence of the eye”, to represent nature with the freshness and vitality of a child, or of a blind person suddenly restored to sight.  Of course, many of the most successful artists of the 20th century struggled to revert to the naivety and freedom of childhood.  Paul Klee apparently found some of his childhood drawings in a box in his parents attic and described them as, “the most significant [I have made] until now”. He had just finished four years at art school but found that his formal training was nothing compared with the ’emotional rawness’ of his youth. In fact, he loved his early drawings so much that he later included them in an exhibition of his work!

So, here’s to our offspring’s fabulous, creative, individual and often crazy drawings.  And don’t forget to keep them – maybe one day they too will be included in an exhibition!


1 Comments on “Draw like no-one’s watching”

  1. Loved this. So true, my children draw over and over the same things, dinosaurs, buses, pirate treasure maps. Those drawings really show what it’s important to them and how they see the world. Such a treasure to keep!


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