Most children love to draw. If you put a crayon in a toddler’s hand and give him a sheet of paper, it isn’t long before he begins to scribble. From those first faint, squiggly lines, to lopsided circles and stick figures, your aspiring artist proudly shows off his artistic attempts.
As children grow and their skills develop, they are ready to learn new techniques. Unfortunately, some parents are not gifted in this area. I am one of those parents. When my children were younger and showed an aptitude for drawing, I was at a loss to know how to help them develop their talent. Stick figures I could manage, but that was about it.
DRAWING – THE TEXTBOOK
Through the years, I purchased many “How to Draw” books – animals, airplanes, flowers, dinosaurs, cartoons, etc. Although these books helped my children learn to follow step-by-step instructions, they didn’t actually teach them how to draw. In other words, they didn’t gain any skills that carried over into their own attempts at producing realistic pictures. Then I discovered *The Drawing Textbook by Bruce McIntyre.
The lessons in *The Drawing Textbook are built around the seven laws of perspective in drawing: foreshortening, shading, density, surface, size, overlapping, and surface lines. As the student works through the book, their drawings become more realistic. McIntyre breaks these concepts down into thirty-seven lessons, each with six different drawings. Not only is the course is simple enough to be used with first graders, but it is also adequate for adults.
My daughter, Rachel, drew these before and after pictures when she was in the 7th grade. There are no lessons featuring birds in the course. However, she was able to apply the techniques she had learned, providing a much-improved outcome.
DRAWING – THE TOOLS
Unlike other programs, *The Drawing Textbook requires only two simple tools: a pencil and plain printer paper. Of course, students are welcome to use colored pencils, crayons, markers, or pen and ink in place of the pencil. They can also experiment with different types of paper. My children often used the pictures from the lessons to adorn greeting cards and pictures for grandparents and friends.
This course is designed to be taught by an instructor. However, it also works well for independent study. The detailed explanations make it easy for older students to work on their own. Even with my meager drawing abilities, the step-by-step instructions made it possible for me to give help when help was needed.
Whether your child is an aspiring artist, or simply enjoys being creative with pencil and paper, *The Drawing Textbook will provide them with the tools necessary to bring their skills to the next level. And remember – it’s not just for children. If you’re artistically challenged like me, give it a try for yourself. Who knows, you might be a better artist than your think!
For a great introduction to techniques used in The Drawing Textbook, check out the YouTube video “The Secret City,” by Mark Kistler (a student of Bruce McIntyre). You might also like:
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