For many parents, guiding their children in the art of creating stunningly beautiful works of art can be a difficult challenge. It requires a combination of knowledge, technical skill, and the ability to coordinate your resources.
To make sure that your children’s artwork stands out, it’s important to recognize the tools and practices you can use to maximize its artistic quality. Here are thirteen tips and strategies to make your kids’ work look exceptional.
1. Initiate Projects Based on Their Abilities
Before jumping into any artwork, it’s essential to understand the level of proficiency your child has in arts and crafts. When starting a project, have a solid plan of how you’ll guide the project, what techniques you plan to use, and the level of complexity that’s still achievable for them.
If you’re not sure which project to do, try sticking to an age-appropriate piece of work with few elements. Because children typically enjoy the freedom of play, making room for exploration and open-ended ideas can be extremely beneficial. For instance, if you’re attempting to create something more complex like a landscape drawing, consider breaking it down into component parts.
For example, separate the work into three levels: drawing the overall outline with a simple pencil sketch, adding basic color with crayons or paints, and creating a whole picture with personalized details. Starting the projects at an achievable level of difficulty raises the confidence of the kid and his likely to produce better results.
Additionally, you may want to find a source of inspiration and an example you can use to direct the project. An older art piece, photograph, film, animation, or even a book can serve as a source of inspiration. After your child has got an idea of what they want to achieve, they can then begin adding their own creative impact, making the work authentic and creative.
2. Utilize Different Materials and Genres
One of the ways to get the most out of any art project is to use a wide range of materials and genres. Stocking up on paint, pencils, erasers, paper, glue, watercolors, and other materials can be useful in teaching children how to create something remarkable. For example, if you have sketched out a landscape on paper, you can intervene and glue relevant pictures, magazines, photographs and other materials to create a more polished design.
Try adding a three-dimensional element to a painting or use masking tape to create patterns on the page. Another helpful tip is to mix of mediums when working with kids.
For example, The Seattle Times recommends mixing clay, cardboard, and markers for a simple but beautiful art project. However, some materials such as glitter, foam, and silverware should be avoided due to the mess they can make and the potential for creating toy-like art.
3. Be Prepared with Any Safety Gear
Working with art can require a certain level of expertise and the usage of different tools. To make sure the painting job goes smoothly and without any accidents, it’s important to have a good selection of safety protection equipment on hand. Ensure that your child is wearing an apron, gloves, and safety goggles when necessary.
Basic safety equipment and tools like these will help steer clear of any potential accidents and reduce the necessity of adult supervision. It’s also essential to check the surface they’re working on, particularly when using watercolors or acrylic paints.
If possible, using a drop-down floor cloth or laying tarpaulin will protect your workspace and furniture from any potential spills. Alternatively, if you’re worried about potential stains you may want to use paper tablecloths that can simply be thrown away after use.
4. Help Develop Their Color Theory Knowledge
An important factor to consider when helping children develop their art skills is ensuring they understand the principles of color. Introducing schemes like ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ colors, shades, tints, and tones will provide kids with a palette to build memorable works of art.
Simple science experiments are a great way for kids to explore the fundamentals of color. For example, PBS Kids suggests a fun-filled activity involving colored markers, cups of water and food coloring. The experiment can be used to show them how mixing specific colors results in new shades and tones, encouraging them to incorporate this knowledge into their artwork.
5. Encourage Creative Thinking
To confidently create something special and unique, children must learn to think creatively and use their imaginations. As a parent, you can help foster art-related thinking by offering your child a supportive and encouraging environment. You could encourage them to look at the world with a different perspective and think creatively.
For example, when looking at a landscape, push them to think about the shapes, lines, and proportion of the area instead of just the visual beauty. Take them on a nature walk and encourage them to observe the details of different trees, rocks, and animals.
This exercise helps them to understand shapes, color and texture more effectively. You could also arrange for them to take visits to art galleries and exhibits, befriending professional artists and viewing their art pieces. These activities can form a trigger for them to want to create something of their own.
6. Utilize Online Resources and Software
In recent years, the proliferation of online tools and software has opened up numerous possibilities within the world of art. A range of apps are available that offer drawing assistance, image editing, color-enhancing tools, and animation software.
Teachers, educators, and parents can take advantage of these resources to help their kids develop their abilities. For younger children, online tools may offer a much more frictionless way of creating powerful visuals. Using frameworks such as ClayPaint, which are designed to help kids create animations, can be beneficial.
As they become comfortable with their skills, they can take things further with more advanced editing software like Adobe Photoshop, which packs a huge range of features. Through platforms such as Artclash and Create4Kids, you can also access a wide array of art-related activities that are fun and interactive. They offer both digital and paper-based activities that can be used at home and in the classroom.
7. Make Use of Their Memory Skills
When encouraging the development of their artwork it’s important to motivate their memory and recall capabilities. Having knowledge about their progress, their current level of expertise, and their forthcoming goals will be useful in ensuring that their skill levels are improving. Start trying out different games and activities with them such as drawing shapes using your hands, using books to create designs, working with shapes or patterns, and having them remember different art tools.
If they’re having difficulty remembering something, try sticking to one task with them until they understand the basics well. While offering helpful tips and guidelines, make sure to give them enough room to experiment and expand on their own skills.
Additionally, assessing their progress regularly is an effective way to development their memory and knowledge base. Ask them questions about what they’re working on and track their responses over time.
This will help them learn the fundamentals of art more quickly and will give them constructive feedback on what they need to focus on.
8. Teach Them Patience and Persistence
One of art’s biggest challenges is the need for patience and persistence. Working on a complex artwork requires dedication and sticking to a plan even during periods of lack of motivation.
Patience and persistence are essential traits that children should learn early in life. To aid in this development, parents should offer their kids opportunities to take part in projects that take longer than just a few hours to complete. Encouraging them to ‘finish what they start’ often leads to answers about how much patience and persistence one needs.
Additionally, encouraging persistent work on their projects can help your children understand the success process. Setting them ‘mini milestones’ along the way helps them recognize their progress, rewarding A’s for each level of completion. This shows that progress isn’t always linear, and it’s okay to make mistakes.
Your children should also know that with perseverance and resilience, any kind of success can be achieved.
9. Not Everything Must be a Masterpiece
As much as it’s important to motivate your child to create an aesthetically-pleasing piece of artwork, it’s essential to understand that this isn’t always the primary focus. Instead, look at their artwork as a reflection of their personality and identity, allowing them to express their feelings in a healthy and creative way.
Focus more on the enjoyment they’re experiencing while creating something and the skills they’re learning rather than making every work a masterpiece. Some works are instructional and help children understand their level of expertise and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way. But instead of pointing out those mistakes too harshly, ensure you reward your child in the event of any achievement, no matter how small.
10. Create Meaningful Conversations
When your child is in the zone, working on a piece of artwork, it’s important to encourage meaningful conversations. Learn about the process they followed, the mistakes they encountered, and the skills they developed over the course of the process. This can be a great way to hear their stories, as well as encourage their creative process.
Talking to your child while they’re drawing can also help them better understand their work and the decisions they made. Ask them why they chose a particular color or shape, start a dialogue about what the artwork means and even ponder over the effects of their decisions on the piece of art.
11. Develop Their Interest in Art History
While working on their artwork, introducing topics related to art history can be quite inspiring and intriguing. Show your child the work of influential and renowned artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt, and da Vinci. Discuss their unique style and the impact their work has had on the art world.
You can even explore the history of art and how different forms have evolved over the centuries. Show them the progression of artwork from prehistoric times to renaissance and more contemporary works.
By exposing them to the work of great historic painters, you can trigger their interest to explore and create meaningful artwork of their own.
12. Use Technology Wisely
Technology can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to helping children create art. While electronic devices have the potential to be brilliant resources, they often end up taking away the charm of ‘real’ art that’s created using the basic resources discussed earlier. It’s important to be mindful of the balance between technology and traditional forms.
To make good use of technology without distracting the child, look for online tools or software they can use to help with the creative process. For instance, popular drawing programs like Autodesk Sketchbook or Adobe Illustrator have easy-to-understand user-friendly interfaces that kids can get most of the way instantly.
These types of tools can often give children skills they’re more likely to pick up and make use of in the future.
13. Take Advantage of Art Kits
Art kits are a great way to motivate your child’s creativity and teach them how to create beautiful masterpieces. These kits come in various types, containing everything from sketchbooks and pencils to paints and brushes. Art kits can be an effective way to help a child learn the fundamentals of expressiveness.
They often come with a set of instructions that kids must follow along the journey of creating their artwork. As a parent, you can use these kits to help guide your children in proper techniques and develop their own process.
Developing your child’s creativity should not be a difficult task. With the above tips and strategies, you should be able to nurture your kids’ artistic abilities over time and help them create beautiful, unique, and meaningful artwork. By breaking down complex projects into simpler elements and providing a supportive and encouraging environment, you can help your kids to become experienced artists in their own right.