by Shoshana Brand

I’ve decided to teach my young students (Kindergarten age) how to draw.

I wanted them to experience success and create artwork that would look mature.

We started with tracing. Right away I noticed that many of the students just went all over the white space with their pencil (i.e. “colored” the image) or tried to follow a line, and got frustrated when they couldn’t do it correctly.

So I developed a technique.

Instead of stretching one long line from one point to another, as usually done when kids trace a picture, my students were told to move their pencils very slowly back and forth repeating the same line and advancing in small portions. I told them: “You are a small bug. You walk very slowly back and forth looking for food, and you need to look only at the tip of your pencil”.

This technique sustains and develops better eye-hand coordination skills. In addition, it also serves as a great introduction to shapes and forms in a 2-D space.

A tracing paper held by paper clips onto a black and white drawing was used for this lesson. The drawings were taken from various coloring books for kids. When the kids completed their work, I cut the extra tracing paper and mounted the artwork nicely, using glue sticks.

The result is a perfect artwork that looks more like a sketch than a tracing. What is surprising the most is that no two students’ drawings would ever look the same, even when they draw the same image, as kids always express themselves in their own way.

All the artwork posted in this article was done by my 5-6-year-old students.