Ages ‘3 to 7’ or ‘3 to 90’
Find ‘Exactly’ What You Need To Know About Teaching A Beginner To Draw.
Browse through the entire blog and find what you need or go to the other blogs on our website and find lots of drawings and tips for your young students.
Watch my video below which shows my Artabet method in action.
Part 2: Let’s Draw and Paint ‘Monkey Mombo’
Follow me as I teach step by step drawing at Rosemont Elementary. This class was with 30 young children, ages 3 to 7.
Part 3: Let’s Draw and Paint ‘Thunderfoot’
Watch some step by step drawing at Rosemont Elementary. See how the ARTABET can be taught to ages 3 to 7-year-old children in your classroom. Draw and paint right along and join the excitement of a full ARTABET CLASS !
Drawing is Movement
Follow me for a few moments into a discovery that has enabled me to teach thousands of young art students how to draw.
- Move your arm in a round and round motion.
- Move your arm up and down.
- Move your arm back and forth.
- Move your arm in a zig zag motion.
- Move your arm in a wiggle motion.
- Move your arm with a jabbing or dot dot dot motion.
What have you discovered with these movements? Do them again and ask yourself if there are any other directions that you can move in ?
Try moving your head in these six directions. Move your foot in these six directions. Look around the room and see if anything is not using these six directions to describe itself.
Look at the very words you are reading and see if there are any other movements or shapes that are not described by these six universal lines. All the loops and swirls and curves and dips and dives that we use to draw with are simply variations of the six universal lines.
My discovery of these six lines came as a result of a desire to teach art to young children.
In 1983, our second child was three years old and I had volunteered to do an art class at her pre-school. I had two weeks to plan my first children’s art class. Question was, “What should you teach a young child to draw?” I decided that a Ladybug would be age appropriate.
Every child loves a Ladybug. Now, what does a child need to know to draw a Ladybug?
How do I make a simple drawing with the least number of lines so that any child can draw it? Here was my first discovery. Create simple drawings with the least number of lines that are easy to follow.
Look at the Ladybug drawing below.
Three lines have been used to create this Simple Ladybug Drawing. How should you teach this to a 3 to 7-year-old? Would you simply jump right in and show them how to draw it step by step ?
An unimaginative, ‘ I do, you do ‘ approach to drawing will not foster creativity in our precious 3 to 7-year-old art student.
You must engage their curiosity and imagination if you are to hold their interest and make inroads towards developing ability and facility in their drawing. Warm ups, Exercises, Games, and Stories are essential.
See below for an example of what to do before you start drawing our little Ladybug. We have now added our newest ‘Ladybug Character’ called ‘Jet Bug”. Watch him take off!
Draw a Story
First, we draw our character. Be playful and ask questions. “How old is your Ladybug?” I usually say, “My Ladybug is two years old.” as I make two round and rounds on the back.
Whimsy is the flavor of the day for this age so you may get a Ladybug with 50 spots. Naming is important for children. “What is your Ladybug’s name?”
The next line we draw is our hop over horizon line. Look at the three Ladybugs below. That Line going behind them is VERY IMPORTANT!!!
It’s so important because it is the first ARTISTIC CONCEPT that a 3 to 7-year-old drawing should have.
A sun can be placed in the sky, mountains can be placed on the line, you can DRAW A STORY!
How do I hold my pencil or pen?
I have observed 3 ways that students hold a pencil or pen over the last 25 years. There are of course a few unorthodox ways to get the job done but we will consider only three.
#1 Index and middle fingers on the side of the pen. Thumb is extended and touching index finger.
#2 Index and thumb working together to create downward pressure while the middle finger is curled on the underside of the pen for balance.
#3 All three fingers and maybe even the fourth on the side of the pen with your thumb on top. This grip is used by the student so that they can see what they are drawing. Pressure directed downwards by the thumb.
Is one grip better than the other?
I would think that the middle grip is the most demonstrated model for young students. I will re-form a students grip when I feel that the middle grip would help the student draw with more facility than their present grip.
Think of the technique needed to glide a violin bow, execute a pirouette, cut a diamond, shoot par golf,garden and thousands of other endeavors.
The artist needs to make their mark and there are dozens of ways to make that mark just as there are many different ways to move the violin bow or swing a golf club so it is with the artists tools.The pencil and pen should be used with strength, softness, vitality and energy.
SMALL HANDS … USE SMALL PENCILS … HARD TO HOLD … USE A CRAYON …
The Warm Ups
The six Universal lines below are what we use to draw with.
Variations of these lines are introduced as the 3 to 7-year-old gains mastery of these six essential lines. Do not hurry the process.
Follow the order on the page above as you do the Warm ups below.
Just as order is important when learning the alphabet and counting order is also important when learning your ARTABET.
Here is ‘ SLIP’ the Snail
This is a variation of round and round and very ‘doable’ for all ages. We call this the ‘curly-Q’
Repetition Is Our Mission
Kids love to draw and they always draw what they love. Drawing is a natural creative activity for the 3 to 7-year-old art student and you can assist them by providing them with some tried and true principals of drawing, fun games and developmental exercises.
Look through the other blogs and you will find a ‘wealth’ of creative ideas, characters, art games, and videos to help your 3 to 7-year-old draw.
Art is a language and as in all languages, we learn with each symbol, each step, and each drawing.
The Ladybug drawing below is an example of my repetition with the Ladybug theme. I called it ‘Jet Bug’ and my beginner art students love drawing it. You can see the play of imagination that went into creating this highly efficient flying machine.
As your child or student masters the first basic ‘model’ for the ladybug they too will come up with their own versions.
The Artabet offers many variations of basic drawings that provide interest for the beginner art student. Repetition with variation will build skill and encourage personal creativity.
The simple spaceship drawing below follows the same simple drawing steps used by the Ladybug. Instead of using round and round it uses up and down, back and forth, zig zag and dot, dot, dot.
As on earth so it is in space … Repetition Is Our mission!
When You Teach Children ‘How to Draw’ … the ‘what’ will take care of itself.
The six lines of the Artabet, when practiced and incorporated into the Art games and exercises will provide a solid foundation for future development and expertise.
The subject matter is always a personal choice but skill and confidence are constant. A child needs competent and effective training from the very start of their involvement with whatever discipline they are attracted to.
A great minor hockey coach, an experienced music teacher, an engaging Kindergarten teacher and a well-trained art teacher will always be an inspiration to a young student. Nurture, develop, and inspire your child with the very best learning environment you can find.
Our book, ARTABET / First Steps In Drawing, is the culmination of 25 years of teaching art to thousands of children in schools, summer camps, and private classes.
Hundreds of school teachers with little or no experience in teaching art are using the Artabet Book and our free classroom art resources with great success.
My most valuable tool is my book. I use it in every class I teach. It keeps me on track and the Kids LOVE IT!
Here is a FREE link that will give you and your class or friends and family a really fun 12 minutes watching Mr. Mulvey painting … really fast!!!
RON has lots of great classes on Skillshare.