Better Tools Make Better Artists - Children and Art
A couple of months ago I pulled out my Prismacolor markers; a Christmas gift I'd received from mom a few years back, but hadn't yet found time to play with.
Like moths to flames, my five year olds begged to use them, but I was hesitant. Prismacolors are not cheap.
At roughly $60.00 for my set ($400 or so for a real professional's case), I tried to keep them far from little hands. But after agreeing to allow their use, all of us sitting and drawing together, the quality of the medium (and the art that resulted) made the decision to hand them over a no brainer.
Prismacolors are used by professionals for a reason. Their water-based colors are rich and vibrant, and can be layered upon each other, instead of bleeding and/or creating one blob of black (as cheaper pens and markers do).
My children's artwork has come alive and they color and draw for hours and hours everyday (on Target's packs of $2.00 recycled printer paper).
The key is to begin with the "kid art tools" first (Crayola markers, crayons, Target brand, etc.).
Then, when the pretty markers are pulled out, mom or dad MUST sit with the kids are go over how special the new tools are. Tops must be put back on or they will dry out. We can't afford to buy more. These are too special not to be cared for.
The good news is that my daughters have become aware of the importance of caring for their markers much more than they ever cared for the cheaper tools that never gave them the desired effect and that always wore out too soon (we've only had a few sacrificial lambs....sad when you want to use a yellow, but it's pointy tip is dead).
The best news is that I'm creating little artists who experiment freely with their hands and minds; expressing themselves in a way that words cannot, and giving me have piles of paper memories to be kept and cherished forever.
Do your kids like to draw? If not, think they might with better tools?