during last week's lesson my student proudly announced that her horse is going to have a big smile (the dark gray paint already generously applied to the paint brush and the hand moving swiftly and unstoppably toward the canvas). as much as i wanted to shout out "no, don't do it!", i wanted to restrain myself from influencing her. having added the huge smile onto the horse's face, she looked at me, grinned, and said "he's smiling at me". that was so precious!
– by my sweet 7-year old art student
besides many other related benefits to art lessons at an early age,
here are some of the goals i keep in mind for my young students:
• developing an eye for seeing and reproducing simple as well as complex shapes
• furthering creativity and imagination
• learning about colors, for instance how to mix or layer them
• exploring a variety of techniques to open up new horizons
• acquiring fine motor skills
• getting proficient in selecting and using tools, in specific different styles of paint brushes
• feeling the satisfaction of completing artwork and getting recognition for the accomplishment
• lengthening the attention span by trying to stay focused on the task while taking appropriate breaks
• discovering how a little patience & persistence can go a long way by learning step by step and not rushing through a project, also understanding that a project may consist of several steps that may take more than one sitting to complete
• realizing that the clean-up in the end is part of the entire process
part of the learning process is trying out new techniques
such as dabbing the wet paint with tissue.
letting the students take their time to discover how different paint strokes
effect the painting is vital as well.
whatever methods you may use to nurture your young artist's creativity, don't hesitate to give a little guidance here and there.
just as a poet benefits from learning how to speak, read and then write:
art instruction – when given in a positive, encouraging environment – builds skills that will enhance even the ability of very young ones to express themselves through visual art.
do you have any plans of exploring new creative adventures with the young artists in your life?