ABOVE Baby gets a good study while being sketched. A skateboard proves to be a challenge that ends in success. A dreamy landscape scene gets imagined and comes to life on paper.
I absolutely love this time together with my kids. And the best part is I see that they still love it. It wasn’t something they had to grow to love, the loved it from day one. What child wouldn’t want their parent to sit down with them and draw? I am so happy that after all of these years they still love it. It’s simple – we sit down with special sketch books, that are reserved for family drawing time, only. I use a pencil but they will use pencils, pencil crayons or pen. We sit in silence, no music playing, and either sketch things we see or draw from our imaginations. Sometimes I get requests to draw certain things in my sketch book, but basically I just draw them drawing. So my sketchbook ends up being a photo album of sorts, as does theirs.
I love life drawing, but I find faces so hard to draw. So I was thrilled to see my son’s essence captured with only his shaggy hair and eyelashes (see photo) – I was so happy to be off the hook with all the other details! And then there are days I’ll push myself and try to draw their faces (which are moving constantly). Don’t be discouraged if you don’t consider yourself a good drawer. Channel your inner child and just draw like no one is watching. Keep it simple. Lead by example.
Somewhere along the way, kids stop believing they can draw. So not only does this drawing time help them to practice drawing and be creative, and to continue believing in themselves, but it teaches them patience, instills the comfort of being in each other’s silent space and the ability to be fully in the moment without thinking about what’s happening next. It’s a beautiful silence.
Lots of office supply stores carry great sketchbooks and HB pencils. Even dollar stores carry great sketchbooks, so no excuses. Don’t forget to date and title your sketches as it’s fun to look back. Most importantly, don’t take yourself too seriously and have fun!