Drawing is probably the most accessible at-home art project. Generally, it's not too messy and it doesn't use a bunch of supplies.
Because it's readily accessible, the challenge for some parents is in making a drawing project enticing. "Go draw something" isn't always enough to get the kids motivated.
We've lined up a few novel invitations for parents to try out this summer! Check them out below and then let us know if you try any of them. We love to see your pictures on social media...feel free to post them directly to our facebook page or tag us @orangeeaselart on Instagram and Twitter.
7 Drawing Ideas for Summer ARt
#1 Introduce an element of danger
Seriously. Just a hint of danger and the appeal of an activity increases ten-fold. In this activity, the danger comes from a kitchen griddle set on low.
[ See full set-up instructions here ]
After a brief safety lesson, artists can draw and color on the griddle with crayons.
The biggest obstacle with this one is that you probably only have one griddle and multiple artists. Ah, patience.
Artists can draw pictures with sharpie FIRST and then color in their drawings, like the picture below (full blog post here) or just color straight on the griddle like the video on the left!
A simple frame drawing is a great way to encourage young artists to begin exploring. Think about it: A blank sheet of paper can be quite intimidating. By doodling a frame onto the page, or multiple frames, you've broken up that page and started the process.
Don't stress about your own drawing, either! Just doodle it. It doesn't have to be perfect!
MORE ABOUT FRAME DRAWING:
#3 Mandala Drawing
This exercise is especially great for the older kids. Once they learn the technique for drawing mandalas, they can do it over and over and over again. They are intricate, unique, and zen-like. The first step is to draw a series of concentric circles in pencil on a square sheet of paper. If you don't have a compass (who does?), use a set of round objects to trace. Then add the diagonal dividing guidelines.
Next, artists can work at adding details to their circular design. All patterns are repeated inside each slice of the "pie". Add text, patterns, shapes, and more. For inspiration, you can check out our Pinterest board FULL of mandalas.
Step-by-step instructions for mandala design
Step-by-step drawing instruction is great for older preschoolers and younger elementary kiddos. They teach kids to see the shapes that make-up an object, animal, person, etc. Plus, they build confidence!
We have an entire pinterest board devoted to Step-by-Steps so you can just print out the ones that your children are most interested in!
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It's important to point out that not all children will enjoy these. Some, especially the perfectionists, can become very discouraged and upset by not being able to make them look perfect. It's okay.
One of the best things that you can do for this situation is to allow them to practice in private. Give your perfectionists a sketchbook that is ONLY for their drawings. Tell them that it's a secret book, NEVER to be shared or looked it. The anxiety of publicly producing something less that perfect is very upsetting for these artists. Invite them to work in private until they feel confident enough to share.
We often start our art classes with a simple drawing prompt. It gets the kids "warmed-up" (just like in sports!). Drawing prompts get them thinking and creating differently. In class, we write the prompt on the board, but at home, you could just write the prompt on the top of a sheet of drawing paper. Maybe you could have a box full of drawing prompts?!
Drawing prompts don't have to be complicated. Just a question. Usually we keep it silly and short. Below are some of our examples.
Draw what you had for breakfast
What would you buy with one million dollars?
Design a scary bug/insect
Draw your perfect pet
You discovered a new kind of plant, what does it look like?
Draw a landscape without picking up your pencil
Draw a person using only straight lines
What would our room look like if you were sitting on the ceiling?
#6 Shadow Tracing and Rubbings
Perfect for outside! Use sidewalk chalk and trace the shadows during the day. Or, use flashlights at night to create spooky shadows and trace them onto sketchbooks. Noticing shadows brings awareness to patterns and the relationship between positive and negative space.
Also, notice patterns in the world by exploring the textures visually! To do this, all you need is a piece of paper and a crayon, charcoal stick, or dull pencil. Children who like to "collect" will love this activity. Challenge them to collect as many different textures as possible!
Check out this beautiful collection of rubbings!
It's just like what it sounds like! Our classes and camps LOVE this one. Make it as complicated or as simple as you'd like. Everyone's drawings will turn out differently. Think outside the box on this one...it's not just "draw a dog" or "draw a cloud", it's also:
Draw as many circles as you can until I say stop
Draw a line as slowly as possible
Switch colors with someone next to you
Draw BIG dots
Draw a squiggle that looks like a worm
Trace a part of your body
Draw upside down
Draw with your feet
Be creative and silly. If you have multiple children, they can probably play this game by themselves. If not, you can probably multitask while you shout out goofy instructions!