5 Reasons to Love and Hate How-to-Draw Books
How to draw is seemingly the most un-creative way to teach children art, however, how to draw books and follow the leader methods continue to be very popular among kids and art teachers. What’s the deal? Decide for yourself with this quick lowdown and the pros and cons of each side.
5 Reasons to LOVE ‘How to Draw’ Books
- They inspire confidence in kids to draw something realistic
- They produce a nice looking product
- Students can do them independently without much help
- They make great gifts and free art activities
- Kids and parents love them, they are addicting
5 Reasons to HATE “How to Draw’ Books
- They don’t teach artistic decision making
- They don’t teach observational drawing from real life
- All the products look the same
- Kids rely on them and won’t draw anything without their help
- Parents view this as the only type of “real art” their kid can do
I will be the first to admit, I have books like these my free art cupboard and have even recommended them to parents who want to get their kid excited about drawing, but I try to avoid “follow me” whenever possible during regular art time.
Once in a great moon I will pull these books to help kids draw a better horse or bird for their project, but rarely. If I do use a “follow me” method, there is always a reason or creative purpose. For example, if I show kids how to draw a simple monkey, the rest of the art project is theirs to create the rest of the picture on their own. I think it’s all about balance, but if I had to choose one over the other, I would go without “how to draw” methods forever in my art room.
I value teaching kids how to make art, not how to ‘do a project’ my way or the highway.
On the other hand, how can any art teacher argue with something that has the magic spell to get kids excited about art, talking about art, and making art? Toughie.
Do you LOVE or HATE how to draw books and methods? Why?