Friday, July 8, 2011

we like drawing books


We sure like drawing books around here. The girls spend a lot of time lately with a basket of crayons, cup of markers and a step-by-step drawing book. They are like me that way, I guess. I always loved to draw those 'Can You Draw Bobo' type of ads. You know the ones, they were placed in magazines for years by the Art Instruction Institute, (no tracing permitted), with the gracious offer to look it over (for Free!) and tell you if you had what it takes to be an artist? I even sent one in for evaluation at some point when I was an adolescent. I slaved over it and it was almost an exact replica. I was so proud. I just knew they'd fall at my feet. So I was a bit crestfallen to receive their tersely worded reply. Something along the lines of 'You should be more original'.

The girls are dog crazy so they especially enjoy this book lately, 1-2-3 Draw Dogs. It has an easy to understand progression and the finished drawings have a pleasing amount of realism for the girls.

 

 

There are other titles if dogs are not your thing. Some samples from my dog artistes:



I fell in love with Ed Emberley's books when we saw them at the library recently. Apparently he is a drawing book legend and has tons of books out that I have totally missed it until now. We really love his humorous cartoon style, the imaginative variety of subjects, and the range of difficulty in the books from blobs with eyes to a line-drawing opus that would be a challenge for even me:


It's really clever the way the doodles are built from steps that are never any more difficult than simple lines or curves. It's genius. But a complex drawing has a lot of steps.

 

A sample piratey pirate from Thing 2:
 

And I couldn't resist drawing some too. It's really addictive:

For younger kids, I highly recommend these Usborne books, I Can Draw Animals and I Can Draw People. We have gotten so much use from them over the years, and the girls still go grab them quite a bit. The skill level required is minimal and the results are always so cute.

 

I love how each simple drawing is built with crayon first and then layered with marker colors so that the crayon acts as a color resist. It gives some really striking results for such simple drawings.

 
Just thought I'd pass along some that we've enjoyed having. I don't believe, as some do, that step-by-step drawing books kill true creativity. I think they can be used to get your kids started if they are intimidated by a blank piece of paper, or need a jumping off point for their ideas. I think it also builds skills that they will use to come up with their own original compositions once they get their drawing legs under them.

26 comments:

  1. We love to draw too and have several of the ones you posted about. Gonna be on the look out for the "purple" one now! :) We are always borrowing others we don't have from our library too. What fun! :)

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  2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who draws the pictures in my kids' drawing books. I heart Ed Emberley and I just can't help but draw along! Have you seen his thumbprint drawing books? They're a lot of fun, too. And I agree that they can be a big help to kids who get paralyzed by a blank page. My 8 yo son is that way--he'd get so discouraged about his drawing but when he discovered how to draw books, his confidence went way up.

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  3. These are great! My children draw all the time. We love the Draw Write Now books.

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  4. It's so great that your girls like to draw! It reminds me of all the hours Jess used to spend at the table with crayons or markers, and now my little granddaughter is reminding me of Jess so much as she does the same when she's here. I love it! Thanks for the book recommendations!

    We also sent in one of 'those' drawings to the Art Institute, and Jess was accepted and actually took their course! If I remember right, she didn't quite finish it because she got sick of it, but I think it was valuable experience for her.... look where she is now! ;)

    I still have all her materials and have thought of going through the assignments myself.... but I doubt I'll ever get around to it. It sorta sounds like a lot of work. ;)

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  5. What a helpful tip and am going to have to look out for these, thanks.

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  6. This is so great! I recently bought a drawing book for adults by Fiona Watt: highly addictive :)

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  7. Love the Ed Emberly books. I really need to start collecting some of those. My daughter would love them.

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  8. Oh, I loved those books as a kid!

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  9. Thanks for the post! I'm starting to look around for items for homeschooling in the fall, and a couple of these look like just the thing for some simple art instruction for my older two.

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  10. so fun!!! I'll have to check them out. I just bought a drawing book (hehe, mostly for me). Illustration school: let's draw cute animals by sachiko umoto

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  11. We love drawing books too! I pick them up whenever we cross paths.

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  12. My 7 year old granddaughter is our little artist in the family. We go to the Library every Tuesday and will have to be on the look out for these books. She would love them. Thanks for the tip.

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  13. I think I got my guys started on Ed Emberley too early. I should break those back out and see if they're more interested now. I have a feeling Aud will eat them up. Thanks for the reminder, and I have to ask, who is that long-legged thing (2) sitting at your table?!?! Good grief.

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  14. We love drawing too! Thanks for the tips on the books. I'll be keeping an eye out for them in Australia.

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  15. The Usborne books are fantastic, I bought some last year when we went on holiday to occupy the kids on the 12 hour ferry crossing to France (that's a long time on a boat, I can tell you!)

    I love the ones where they start off a drawing and you finish it, which is what the Usborne Book Of Drawing, Doodling and Colouring is all about. Hey, if you can't find it in the US you should keep an eye out when you're in London! :D

    I wonder if I could get sponsored by the tourist board?...

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  16. I don't have kids, but I love your blog and I just might check out one of those books for some different kind of creativity!

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  17. Hey, y'all! Thanks for all the great comments.

    The Maternal Parental Unit, I just saw his thumbprint books a couple of weeks ago! They look great.

    Very Verdant, we have ALL the Draw Write Now books. My girls love them, and I love that it is a great way to get them writing.

    Anna, I'll have to check that one out!

    Lisa, do you offer free tours? :-)

    Grandma G, I can't BELIEVE you would taunt me like that with Jessica's success at The Art Instruction Institute. That really hurt.

    Robyn, that there is indeed my child. She grew three more inches in the last year and shows no signs of stopping.

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  18. Humblest apologies.

    (And we even went to VISIT the place!)

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  19. Grandma G, Ok, ok. (hug) I can be big about it.

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  20. You are big in your own right.

    (Hug backatcha!)

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  21. ;-) winky smiley. See? You are awesome, Grandma G.

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  22. Yep, I do see.

    :-D Big smiley. See?

    Now go get to work on that L'il Red!

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  23. Am I the only one wondering about that paint color? Do you happen to still know what it is? Looking for the perfect blue and I keep coming back to this post to look at your wall there. Thanks also for the drawing book tips - will look for them at our library for my 7&5 year old boys.

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  24. Karastefa, if you are talking about the bit of blue you can see in my living area, sure: That's Rainwashed by Sherwin Williams. Love it.

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  25. Wow, so glad you still have the name. It looks great in there with the write trim and patterned drapes - not too dark/light. Will have to get to the local store here and see how it looks in THIS room that needs painting so badly after years of Magic Eraser use.

    Also, I found a 1-2-3 drawing book, actually 5 of the books in 1 spiral bound hardback, on the bargain shelf at our local bookstore today. They are nice and simple and not too intimidating for my constant-tornado-drawing beginners, thanks.

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