Let me say that again. Your kids can draw the same thing as a college art student! I taught at community colleges and universities for 5 years before I started teaching private lessons full time at LZM Studio. I teach your kids as early as age 7 the same content they would learn in a college drawing class. I’ve done this for 8 years, so I’ve seen the results tested over time- and I can assure you- your child is capable of drawing much more than your schools will tell you.

Ella's cone drawing, age 7

Ella’s cone drawing, age 7

Ella is a wonderful example of this. She is just 7, but she is highly motivated to learn sophisticated drawing techniques. One day she saw some of my drawings of basic shapes that I had worked on with an adult student. As her eyes lit up, she gasped “I want to draw that!!!” with an urgency that surprised me. I will slowly test the waters with more difficult skill sets such as shading and perspective with a youngster of her age. Often times I attempt a difficult skill set with them, and discover due to stages of brain development that we are trying something too difficult too soon. I wait a few months and attempt again. When they are ready, we move forward with each new skill. It isn’t an exact science, as brains develop at different rates and ages. Often a 7 year old is not ready for this skill development, but an 8 year old is. However, I’ve had 10 year olds who were resistant to learning more adult styles of drawing, and I’ve worked with 5 year olds who drew their ceiling fan in accurate perspective! So there is a spectrum that all of our kids fall within. Ella and I had been working on developing her confidence with her drawings, so I didn’t think she’d want to try something that challenging, but this is a girl who knows what she wants, and she jumped in with gusto! She is proof that kids can draw complicated concepts such as how light falls over a curved form, and revel in it. In fact, here is Ella, gleefully celebrating her accomplishment once she finished her cone drawing!

Ella celebrating her completion of her cone drawing and reveling in my encouragement!

Ella celebrating her completion of her cone drawing and reveling in my encouragement!

I do need to remind parents that just because your 7 year old will draw in perspective and shade three dimensional forms in lessons with me- they won’t likely start drawing like that on their own just yet. That transition you’ll see in kids ages 9-12, as they are motivated to draw things that look realistic at those ages more than the 5-8 year old set. The younger kids are still using drawing as language acquisition, storytelling and processing their experiences- and those drawings are done much faster and mostly with line elements. The same day Ella finished her cone drawing with me, she drew this drawing during her break time, based on the whimsical, magical drawings in the book Max Makes a Million, by Maira Kalman (one of my favorite books to share with kids- I highly recommend it!).

mairakalmankidsdrawings

Strawberry, Raspberry, Blueberry Girls and Lemon Boy by Ella