How to Draw Books for Kids

Updated on January 22, 2012
S.H. asks from Harvest, AL
3 answers

My daughter will be 6 years old in 1 month. She LOVES to draw, so this year we got her a "big girl" artist's desk/drafting table (the Artist's Loft one from Michael's) and a couple storage cubes for keeping art supplies. (Can't wait to give it to her!!) We are also going to get her some new crayons, paper, etc.

I was trying to think of things to tell our family & friends to get her when the ask for suggestions. Then I thought of maybe some "how to draw" books - the kind that show you simple step-by-step how to draw shapes into things. Something on a 6 year old's level of course :)

I searched on Amazon and found several books from this "Dover How To Draw" series. Anyone familiar with these? They say they are for ages 4 to 8. They look like something my daughter would like. :) I figured I could tell everyone to find one of the books in this series, or even any others similar they can find.

Any other books you would recommend? Or supplies even! I want to get her the Crayola Crayon Tower. :)

Thanks everyone!

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answers from Honolulu on

My kids are avid drawers and have been since toddlerhood.
They are now 5 & 9 years old.

SOME of what we have is:
-tons of paper to draw on. It does not have to be fancy "artist" paper
- Crayons
- colored pencils
- oil pastels
- charcoal
- pencils
- chalk
- Acrylic paints
- drawing books of all kinds even if not age related
- stencils
- an art box from the art store
- Plastic bins to keep it all in
- and they also use my art supplies. I have a Fine Arts Bachelor's so I have tons of art supplies laying around. I let my kids, use them. Regardless of age.
- Books with blank pages in them, so it serves as a sketch book, for my kids and it keeps all their drawings together, IN a "book." And I have them date each drawing they make. They can carry this around and draw anytime wherever they are.
- A pencil box, portable. That they can take anywhere with them.
- Erasers
- Kneaded erasers
- a wooden human mannequin.

The Dover books are fine.
There are also many others. Even "doodling" books, like from Barnes & Noble.

Also, just sign her up for classes.

And, I would encourage her to use other mediums, besides just Crayons.
She is not too young.

But ALSO, try to let her draw and express herself in her own "style." And to get used to other mediums and experiment with it. Besides just with Crayons.
AND teach her, there is no "right" or "wrong" way, to draw.
Sure in art classes they teach you "technique"... but "style" is not something born of "technique" but an adjunct to it.
Some people in other words, can draw without knowing any "technique" and they are very good. BUT, the basic concepts of drawing/coloring/proportions/perspective drawing, will come in time.

For now, just let her draw.
My kids, learn by drawing as well from their books and what I guide them on. Then I let them at it. And they have their OWN interpretation of it.

And, don't get locked into the idea that drawing is only done one way. Per "technique." Because, this can actually inhibit a child/adult, from drawing freely.
I had an Art Professor (that is very well known himself)... that, actually told me "Susan, I wouldn't recommend you take formal art classes, because it will denude you of your own unique style.... and limit you." He believed, that some people, if they get too hung up on technique and their art being "perfect"... that it will actually regress their art ability and "natural" style.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

For a child with serious inclinations, I would NOT stop with crayons. She can't really do much fine controlled work or good color blending. You'll help open up her possibilities with a range of supplies, from a couple of softer-leaded drawing pencils and a good vinyl eraser, to watercolors and watercolor pencils, to oil pastels (dust free, and much richer color than crayons). A good quality drawing tablet takes color more smoothly, and a watercolor tablet will give paper heavy enough to finish nicely.

How-to books are a nice idea IF she actually uses them. Some kids don't like to be channeled like that. Good art doesn't necessarily have to look like actual things, and it can be stultifying to suggest that realism is the only worthy way to draw. I used to love "gallery" books that showed examples of many different artists' work, and I learned a tremendous amount by trying to copy a few famous paintings. (I eventually became a professional designer/illustrator).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I remember the Ed Emberley drawing books from when I was a kid. If they are still in print, I would check them out. They show how to draw all kinds of simple things just using little lines, shapes and squiggles, step-by-step.

1 mom found this helpful
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