Thursday, October 30, 2008

colouring book dilemma

we are into painting and making art with kids around here. Its also an excuse for me to do some art during the day. For a long time I have just given big M a little water colour paint set and piece of paper. His work has been spontaneous and, well, quick. He usually will only concentrate at the paper for a few minutes.

Well recently I bought him a Thomas the Tank engine colouring book. This was very exciting for him. I sort of bought it reluctantly as I am not sure I agree with colouring books. Firstly, they foster a sort of prescriptive art - where you have to stay in the lines etc. They tell you what you are colouring and dont let your imagination run wild. You can't just make a shape and guess what it is... you have to make the shapes they already drew... BUT...

This colouring book has inspired some serious concentration. Big M will look through it and colour a picture for at least half an hour - sometimes longer, and I cant help but think this is a good thing. Yesterday it was gorgeous out and we sat on the porch painting together for a good hour. This is my idea of a perfect parenting day.

I tell you, with the colouing book we also bought some fat smelly markers and this made the world of difference. The paper quality on those things is always so poor, that pencil crayons, and crayons dont show up. Paint is OK, but the paper warps a bit. The big markers have a darker, duller colour, but at least have good coverage and are easy to colour large areas with.

The painting shown above is by big M. its a picture of two birds and a river. This is his first truly representation work, and I love it.


Bruce Rout said...

Exceptional. How much does he want for it?

Cameron D. said...

Nice work!

I like your term 'prescriptive art' - I've had similar thoughts on coloring books & "coloring between the lines". I like to tell parents with young children that they shouldn't pressure their kids to do that because it'll set back their creativity.

Anonymous said...

I bought the kids oil pastels this summer and wow! The pictures they made were spectacular because the color is so rich and vibrant.

I've been given a ton of coloring books for the kids, but they've never really shown much interest in them for some reason.