We often hear that being ‘good’ at art is something we are born with - a talent that some have, and some don’t. It's not true.
Just like everyone can be taught to play music, we can all learn how to draw and draw well.
In my classes there are no mistakes. Rather than saying you must draw this way, the child is taught to look closely and decide how to communicate and create what they see onto paper. The child chooses the path their artwork takes. They have full control. My involvement in the decision-making process is that of mentor. I offer guidance.
This process of looking and drawing is rigorous and the results are tangible. Children will move from making what I call assumptive drawings that lack visual acuity, to being able to reproduce what they see, in a way that is full of life and movement.
This is an artistic practice that instills confidence and is full of laughter.
The technique I’ve developed focuses on finding underlying shapes and geometry and building creatively through this process. It has been tested through my PhD research at Queen’s University, where I showed how observational can improves children’s visual-spatial skills (Beery-VMI).
This approach introduces geometry in a holistic way as you deal with the interplay of shapes in nature. It makes you more aware of your surroundings, the details of the world around you, which is essential for a whole host of endeavours, from the sciences to the arts.