We're back with another drawing with kids post! It's been a while and I apologize. We've actually done all three drawing exercises from lesson 2 (drawing from graphics) over the past month and this lion drawing is the first of them.
For those who are joining in for the first time, my 7 year old and I are following the drawing lessons outlined in Mona Brookes' popular book, Drawing with Children.
So without further ado, let's get started!
As usual, we began with a warm up drawing exercise that emphasizes shapes, quality of line, and yes, following drawing instructions (as much as I cringe a bit inwardly at writing that). As you can see, though, following the instructions of drawing a line from one edge of the paper to the other or drawing three circles of various sizes along that line do NOT at all mean that you will end up with identical cookie cutter works of art.
Once we finished our warm up exercises, we began our lion drawings, following the step-by-step instructions… Such as:
"Draw an oval dot for each one of the pupils, a curved line over and under each one of the dots to define the outer edge of the lids, and tiny straight or curved lines for the eyelashes."
The instructions are easy to follow and include line drawings for each section of the drawing described. See the eyes above Maia's lion? Sometimes we test part of a drawing on our paper-covered table first.
Of course, Maia went beyond the basic instructions and embellished her lion with large dangly earrings and a bird companion.
We both colored our drawings in with markers—nothing fancy; just our Crayolas. (We often use Sharpies as well.)
Maia finished her drawing as I was still working on mine.
This lion lesson is a level 1 drawing using simple, abstracted shapes. Each lesson contains drawing exercises for each of the three drawing levels. Remember the beginning exercise that tested our ability to replicate shapes? This lion is the simplest of the lesson 2 drawings, appropriate for those who were able to complete the level 1 shape replication exercise at the beginning of the book. Maia and I were both able to complete all three levels, but rather than jumping to the level 3 drawing, we've just been doing each of them.
Maia's bird got obliterated in her finished lion drawing (but it popped up again in subsequent lion drawings…).
I incorporated some stylized decoration in my drawing. As well as a baobab tree!
Maia continued to draw lions over the next couple of weeks, using the same technique and structure but doing it from memory. I like how she's become comfortable depicting a lion and does so playfully. Here there's a rainbow bird atop the lion's back.
Here the lion is on the back of a large rainbow bird.
And here the lion himself is rainbow colored.
Yes, the lion looks much the same in each of the drawings despite the playful colors, sizes, and combination of animals. I imagine that with time her lions will loosen up and look a bit less like the lion in the book and more unique. The important thing is that she is perfectly comfortable drawing lions now, is proud of that fact, and is learning how to connect shapes more fluently to depict images she wants to draw.
Have you been following along on the Drawing with Kids series?
We're really enjoying our lessons and progress with the Monart method and Mona Brookes' Drawing with Children book. Many of you have said you picked up the book since I first posted about it. And many others have said that you've had the book for a while now but were intimidated about starting it with your kids and that this series is making the process more accessible for you. I'm so glad! I'll keep sharing our progress here… Feel free to do the lessons alongside us or to pin these posts for later.
Quick question: Is there anything I can do to make this Drawing with Kids series more helpful for you?