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Kids are natural artists.  The drive to create and draw comes naturally to them.  Drawing not only helps with fine motor skills, teachers know it can enhance any subject.

If you are interested in helping your budding artist succeed in their interests here are a few tips to help you on your way.

There are many different ways to look at things and draw.  Although Children benefit from being exposed to these methods, I prefer to mainly teach the direct line method.

The direct line method: Is basically how it sounds.  You show the child line for line how to draw something while the child draws along.  Although I show my students how to draw (let’s say a sailboat), I give them many different options so they can choose how to draw their particular boat.  They can decorate the sails with any pattern, add clouds, or a bird, their waves could be big or small, smooth or rough.  The possibilities are limitless, and each lesson I see a child come up with something new, like adding a submarine!  Their drawing then become unique, but they have the confidence booster of a successful drawing.  I often find that once you show a child how to draw something, they go and draw it again and again, changing things up as they go.

Observation drawing:   This technique is great for kids to participate in.  Kids can observe from real life, a picture, or even someone else’ drawing.  You can set up a still life of objects (toys, food, books), or look at the illustrations in a picture book for inspiration.

Shapes: Looking at basic shapes can be incorporated into a lesson, and is helpful in simplifying a drawing.  You can draw a pig with a circle head, a rectangle body, and long rectangle legs.  Triangle ears, circles for eyes, and an oval for a nose.  For more advanced drawers, you can look at animals and see ovals, and circles and all kinds of shapes.


Kids go through a lot of materials, and even though you may want to give your budding artist quality supplies, it can add up.  You can find quality inexpensive supplies that won’t empty your pocket book.  In fact, my favorite watercolor paintbrushes are ones I purchased for my students.

Possible supplies:

Sulphite Construction paper is inexpensive, but holds up well to drawing and painting with tempura and watercolor paint.  This is a cheaper option than watercolor paper.

Permanent markers:  Yes, I said it.  I know you want to cringe at giving your little one a permanent marker,

More to come.  Thank you for your patience while I get all this info up on the website!

Coloring Page: Feel free to copy and past this image to use as a coloring page. Please share where you got it!

busy bee1

I have found some great how to draw videos already on youtube.


Art for Kids is a great channel kid friendly how to draw channel.  He uses my preferred method of direct line instruction.  There’s the added benefit that he is drawing with one of his kids, which is always a bonus.   He has a ton of videos on different subjects.  Definitely worth checking out.


Mark Crilley is a great illustrator and very entertaining.  See my post on him here.  He is also an all around nice guy, and I have never seen him illustrate, or say anything inappropriate (for children or adults).

His videos features realistic, Manga, and even more cartoony Chilbi character how to draw videos, and gives more advanced drawers an understanding of how to create a framework to draw with.   His book, Mastering Manga is a must have resource for older kids, and adults alike with step by step directions, and great examples to learn from.


Suggested reading:

The Dot Book by Peter H. Reynolds is a fun story, and very inspiring.  Read my own personal post about it here, where I feature the video, and fun activities (at the end of the post).  A great read for budding artists, and those who feel they have no artistic talent at all.

Illustration School: Let’s Draw Cute Animals by Sachiko Umoto is a little jewel.  Her step by step interactions are not too fast, but challenging enough for the budding artist.  This is a fun book that teaches kids how to draw animals, but in a simplified way to nurture their confidence as well.

Mastering Manga by Mark Crilley

More to come!

How to draw books:

How to draw books are great for anyone who wants to learn how to draw, but they can be confusing, and the steps can move too quickly for the artist to follow at times.  When you look at a prospective book, make sure the examples are clear on what lines should be drawn next.



Other Resources:

Deep Space Sparkle is a website dedicated to teaching art to children.  Patty Palmer has years of experience in teaching elementary art, and offers free art lessons on her site.  She also has several courses designed to teach you how to teach your own children art.  Whatever your skill level in art, Patty has some great resources for you.

I have personally taken her Teaching Art 101 course, and learned so much from it.  My own students have reaped the benefit of her knowledge, and passion for teaching children not only the fundamentals in art, but the confidence in creating art for themselves.