Art lessons for a seven year-old?
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  1. #1
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    Question Art lessons for a seven year-old?

    I'm supplementing my income- or lack there of- by giving private drawing lessons to a friend's daughter. She's 7 years old, and pretty bright. I have very little experience with kids but she tells me her school has no art classes whatsoever.

    So we've had our first lesson and i started out with the basics of the color wheel. I made her some activities to teach her about complimentary colors. She picked it up pretty fast and told her dad she had fun.

    But I'm wondering where I should go from here. My instinct is seven is too young to start digging into realism and real drawing techniques. She seems much more interested in drawing flowers and unicorns. So I figure, go for it! Right? Is it better to encourage her to draw what she likes and foster a real love for art?

    Or should I focus more on actual techniques?

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    Unicorns, rainbows and ponies all the way.
    At that age fun > everything.

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    Perhaps you can get in some basic teaching trough drawing flowers, rainbows and unicorns?

    I have no intention of becoming a professional artist, I just aspire to become a really good amateur.

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    I would focus on the subjects she likes while trying to introduce some good foundation info in small amounts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dierat View Post
    I would focus on the subjects she likes while trying to introduce some good foundation info in small amounts.
    This.

    Let her draw her flowers and unicorns. Then, afterwards, you could show her ways to improve upon her drawings with simple things like focusing on something like improving the symbols that make a unicorn a unicorn. Also, maybe show her lots of unicorns and flowers within the realm of art. Expose her to all the awesomeness of unicorns and flowers.

    As someone else commented, fun>everything at that age. I agree and feel that the love of art is much more important than how someone actually draws at that age.

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    Let her know about how to build characters, different kinds of flowers and such with basic shapes, squashy bean shapes and the like :3 So that when she's drawing things that are typically rather difficult, she knows how to make it easier.

    It really depends on her attention span, but right now she wants to draw things that are going to be fun and keep her attention.

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    When I was little, my friend had a children's art instructor come for her birthday party. He had us do some pastel drawings that were pretty simple. One was a desert sunset scene: a thin strip of brown to represent the sandy ground plane on the bottom of the page (landscape format, of course), then a gradient of sunset colors layered in blended horizontal strips up the rest of the page, and a simple green cactus shape in the desert foreground. We were all really surprised how well they turned out, and felt like real artists. I don't know, but something like that might be a fun way to start teaching her about drawing and painting landscapes and nature.

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    Maybe a little drawing from life would be fun - go out into the garden or a forest or even a flower shop, pick out a flower (or a bunch) she really likes and sit down together to draw it. Or if there's horse stables near where you live, maybe go and have a look at them and try to draw them, then put horns on them



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    Draw an outline for her so she can colour it in with how colour works and such. Basic three dimensional shapes. Maybe some easy animals like bunnies nothing too complex, also try keep it a bid cartoonish kids like that.

    As someone said keep it fun.

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    Take her to the zoo to draw animals. When she's done loads, praise the best and very carefully say how one picture could be better. Best of luck.


    I didn't think it was possible to be called an artist when you have nothing to say. It's like being a writer who publishes individual words as books and expects to be praised for it.
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    Take what she likes to draw, and show her how to improve the likeness: how to shift from symbols to real flowers, how to add correct volume to the unicorns, etc. Be sure to point out the things that she does well, before you start "fixing" it. (If you can't find any things she's good at, invent some. These things are relative, and you need to encourage the kid, not daunt her.)

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    I doubt she's too young to learn basic 3D. A vase to put the flowers in, a box for the unicorn to stand on, a square house for them to live in. Simple geometric shapes in three dimensions even with very simple shading. I was learning basic 3D from Mark Kistler around that age and I had a lot of fun doing it.

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    send her straight to anatomy lessons and composition lol

    But seriously i agree with everyone here, do what i do with my little bro, make her draw something and then show her the real thing and start talking about the differences about them. If she draws a dog, then show her a picture of a dog and talk about them, show her the leg in the picture and then ask her to show you where is the leg in her drawings. Kids learn by associating and comparing things.

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    When I was 7 years old I took a few drawing/pastel lessons. I drew animals (my favorite is the cheetah with all those pokadots) and did famous fruit paintings in pastels. I was made from then on out.

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    I'd just encourage her to draw whatever she wants, with tips to help her improve. I think an art class might turn her off drawing at such a young age, unless she requests it herself.

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    How about you do a Sculpey sculpture of what she wants together and then have her draw it?
    Personally I loved doing clay/plasticine figures as a kid and it might be fun for the kid to draw it too, maybe encourage her to draw several objects in perspective by having couple simple toys in a row etc?

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    Wow these are all fantastic suggestions! You have filled my head with ideas for future projects! It would be really fun for her to take a field trip to the zoo for drawing. Maybe her dad could come and draw with us. Also will definitely be picking up some sculpey.

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