three-year-old's drawings - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 07-26-2012, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i think my daughter may be showing signs of artistic talent  - i'm just posting out of interest and to get other people's perspective, i don't have anything invested in her being 'gifted' - although i would like to recognise her skill so i can nurture it, she's perfect to me anyway!

she has just turned three a couple weeks ago and her drawings seem pretty far ahead of that age to me. for the last two or three months she has been drawing people with arms, legs, head, hair, fingers, buttons if they are wearing a jacket, earrings and eyebrows. in the last few weeks she has really raised her game and a couple of drawings she's just done really surprised me. the first was a drawing of a cat who comes to our garden - she drew him head on, with his body coming up and backwards behind him and his legs on either side - ie foreshortened, if that's the correct word. basically it looked like a cat ACTUALLY LOOKS when he's coming towards you. in the foreground she drew an ellipse for his food bowl. the other drawing she did this evening just blew my mind and actually freaked me out a little. she told me she was going to draw piglet's balloon (from the pooh books) and when she showed me her drawing i actually felt spooked - she didn't have the book to draw from, but the shape was EXACTLY that of piglet's balloon in the book! i couldn't have conveyed it better if i'd traced it.

i don't have any three year olds to compare her to, but it seems like this is not the norm - does anyone else have a child who is artistically gifted? are there particular ways i can help her access this talent? like i said, i don't mind if she's gifted or not, i love her for whoever she is, but i want to be able to support her if that's what she needs.

thanks for reading!

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#2 of 12 Old 07-26-2012, 08:02 PM
 
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My son is very talented in the visual arts. I'm not sure what the standards are for gifted.

I, on the other hand, really suck at it. And I hate art or anything artsy. I just do not like it.

 

What I do is provide him with lots of media. Paper, pencils, crayons, watercolor, clay, blocks, etc. He gets a lot of his ideas from the books he reads and the games he plays. So providing him that opportunity to explore is also important for him. His interest in the arts is actually what tipped the scale for us into enrolling him in an arts/science-infused public charter as opposed to homeschooling him. Given my utter fear of anything artsy, it would have been a disservice to him if I HS'ed him.

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#3 of 12 Old 07-26-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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Yep, just buy her lots of art supplies. And you can look up fun projects online for her to try. Take her to art museums and galleries, and when she's older, buy her art books.
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#4 of 12 Old 07-26-2012, 08:47 PM
 
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My son was unusually talented at that age and still it at 5. Buy art supplies. Go to museums. Read great books with a variety of illustrations and keep them in your home. We are the people in the museum with the four year old drawing his favorite Picasso. He particularly loves little Waldorf lesson books, bound books with bright colors where he can tell stories. He can't read but we've been dictating spelling, letter by letter, for over a year. It seems his interest is primarily visual. 

 

We are lucky to attend a really lovely Reggio preschool with an absolutely top notch art program (natural art supplies, collecting leaves to make pigments, wire and wood work, child-driven). Unfortunately, I've never found anything equal to it. I am sorry he'll lose it when he goes to K.

 
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#5 of 12 Old 07-26-2012, 10:18 PM
 
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My eldest was unusually artistic during those toddler- early elementary years but that sort of faded away when she discovered other methods of expression she preferred (namely creative writing, music and theatre.) By middle school, those with a passion for art had far surpassed her in ability even if they were nowhere near her in 1st grade. This is pretty typical actually. 

 

Absolutely give her an assortment of supplies. Take her places to see different types of art. I'd hold off on any formal training at the moment but enjoy her pictures. Write down her verbal description of the picture on the back. She may continue on this path and she may not. Whatever happens, she's enjoying it now and that's great!


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#6 of 12 Old 07-27-2012, 01:24 AM
 
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DS shows an obvious talent with drawing and has from an early age. However, I wouldn't call it so much an "artistic" talent - it appears more like a technical or cognitive talent to me, an unusual visual-motor coordination and understanding of spatial relationships. He was drawing figuratively before he was two - sausage shapes which, with wheels and pantographs, were recognizably trains, with a wick and flame were recognizably candles. By 2.5, he was drawing recognizable steam engines. Like your child, he showed understanding of perspective and spatial relationships by 3.

His machines, dinosaurs and trains now are amazing in their detail - I love his dinosaur book, but would not call it art, it seems a different kind of self-expression, kwim? While we do have art supplies, he is not that interested in trying out various crayons, paint, etc. (He is also colourblind, not sure how that will affect him in the future). It seems his talent is taking a slightly different direction.

For instance, DH is very talented in this field as well, and while he has enjoyed painting in oil for a while, most of his paintings were realistic still lifes. He now enjoys designing our new house and has a book published about the local fortifications, with lots of coloured drawings of how the fortifications would have looked like at the time of construction, and the local municipalities have ordered coloured drawings from him for public information tablets signposted near the various fortification works of the town and the city. he is also a very talented photographer.

It looks to me as if DS might follow in these footsteps (including the photgraphy, i am quite impressed at what he can do with a digital camera already), so at some point how-to classes may serve him better than classes that focus on creativity.

DD, not yet two, has also started drawing figuratively - round shapes she calls a balloon, strokes she calls a pole. Again, at this point I'd say it signifies unusual visual-motor and cognitive development, not artistic talent.

This is just our experience, I just wanted to point out that there are various turns this talent might take.


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#7 of 12 Old 07-27-2012, 07:12 AM
 
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Again, at this point I'd say it signifies unusual visual-motor and cognitive development, not artistic talent.

This is just our experience, I just wanted to point out that there are various turns this talent might take.

 

Our experience has been similar. The complexity and realism of young children's drawings is part of most cognitive-developmental assessments for precisely this reason. My ds (15), who was the least "artistically precocious" of all my kids at age 3 (probably due to graphomotor delays and visual processing speed issues) has actually turned out to be the one with the artistic talent that the professional artists we know tend to comment on. My girls... they can draw reasonably well, but they aren't gifted in the visual arts despite some really amazing artistic output at ages 2-4. But they're intellectually very gifted. 

 

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#8 of 12 Old 07-27-2012, 02:14 PM
 
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Tigerle,

That is very interesting because I never looked at it that way. Like I mentioned, I am not very artistic so I cannot relate to how "good" DS' artwork is. But I can definitely have an appreciation for his understanding of spatial relationships.

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#9 of 12 Old 07-31-2012, 02:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks so much for all the replies and for the interesting perspectives. the stuff about drawing not neccesarily being an artistic talent at this age is really thought-provoking, i hadn't looked at it that way but it makes perfect sense.

i wouldn't homeschool (i would make a bad full-time teacher) but we are thinking about steiner education (although i have mixed feelings about it now after reading some horror stories online). i definitely want to make sure that my daughter has the opportunity to nurture her talents if they prove to be in this area - i had a very traditional education in which art and music were not valued at all, so i want to make sure that she has access to all elements of the curriculum. i hadn't thought of taking her to galleries before - i had always assumed she was too young but i might give it a go - it would be another fun thing we could do together.

thanks again everyone!

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#10 of 12 Old 07-31-2012, 04:53 AM
 
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Quote:

 the stuff about drawing not neccesarily being an artistic talent at this age is really thought-provoking, i hadn't looked at it that way but it makes perfect sense.

i wouldn't homeschool (i would make a bad full-time teacher) but we are thinking about steiner education (although i have mixed feelings about it now after reading some horror stories online). i definitely want to make sure that my daughter has the opportunity to nurture her talents if they prove to be in this area - i had a very traditional education in which art and music were not valued at all, so i want to make sure that she has access to all elements of the curriculum. i hadn't thought of taking her to galleries before - i had always assumed she was too young but i might give it a go - it would be another fun thing we could do together.

thanks again everyone!

 

 

please remember to many "technical" type drawing is in fact art ( mc escher!, leonardo da vinci, etc), a great artist most definitely needs linear perspective  - anyway don't confuse "schooling" and her expression of her art and lump them together- those with real artistic talent do not thrive in most "art" that schools provide, even so-called great programs (really doesn't matter what type of schooling you go with) so later on you most likely you will need to feed her interest and talent out side of school be it private or group lessons
the "getting to know" artist series books are great for children and show/depict the artist as a young child http://gettingtoknow.com many "great" artists are viewed as "gifted" and show it in the way you describe your DD at a very young age - many art museums carry the books if the carry the works of some in the series
 
You will find many do start out with more "technical" type illustration and not viewing it as art can be a hugh mistake!

 

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#11 of 12 Old 07-31-2012, 08:07 AM
 
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i hadn't thought of taking her to galleries before - i had always assumed she was too young but i might give it a go - it would be another fun thing we could do together.

thanks again everyone!

 

You are never too young! Both my kids loved any sort of museum as babies. I went because I didn't really know what else to do with my eldest. I had no friends with kids and a trip to the museums on free days was something that made ME feel sane. It was just a great side effect that the kids enjoyed them too even before they could move. It's all just interesting stuff to look at whether you fully understand the history or origin. My eldest loved that actual art and got really interested in artists and styles even as a toddler. My youngest never cared a lick about the art but enjoyed counting all the dogs and such lol. Many museums have special family days that are often free. The stress to keep your kids quiet or still isn't as high (not ever and issue with DD but yeah, DS was a runner.)

 

Enjoy this stage. I must say, I do miss the prolific art days of the preschool/early elementary years. For my DD, it was her method of story-telling. She still tells stories but they are locked away in her private journals and computer. The art/stories were always to share and that was nice.


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#12 of 12 Old 09-02-2012, 04:05 PM
 
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This is an interesting discussion.  

 

I have four daughters and 3 of them are very good at "copying" other people's drawings. All four were well ahead of the developmental milestones in art.    The youngest has always been the most passionate about art.  Although she can "copy" she prefers creative, cartoonish drawings.

 

This year, she won an area wide art contest.  We went to the awards ceremony where there were hundreds of "runners-up" drawings displayed.  I was frankly quite surprised that my daughter had won.  Many of the non-winning drawings were very accurate, well-done pictures of realistic things.  My daughter's drawing, on the other hand, was colorful but not particularly neat and certainly not realistic, but very creative in theme.   Many of the winners in other age categories exhibited similar unique styles.

 

Not being an artist myself, I always admired simplicity and realism in other's art.  As my child grows and is recognized for her personal style, I am realizing that true art must be something beyond copying other's pictures accurately.

 

She is 11 now and not only does she excel in art, but also piano, violin, creative writing and drama.  I am glad for her extra-curricular interests since she attends a small private school with no gifted program.

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