Kids Classes Part Two: Our Drawing Program In-Depth

At Insight Fine Art Studio, our mission is to give students the skills they need to draw accurately and realistically. Because many other art class for kids focus on craft based activities, parents are often surprised when they learn that we teach the same techniques and principles in our weekly kids classes, as we do in our adult program. Our approach helps younger students develop the skills they need to be confident artists. We take the fundamental concepts used to create realistic drawing, and make them accessible to kids of all ages and abilities.

We show our students how to draw accurately by simplifying complex subjects into manageable shapes. We also consider placement and the proportional relationships of shapes using alignments and measurement techniques.

Here's an example of how an artist might simplify complex shapes into a more manageable and accurate framework.

With kids, we use these same concepts as they complete hands-on projects tailored to their age, ability and interests. Students as young as seven can begin our program where they are guided through projects like the examples below.

The original image is on the left, followed by the student artwork (ages 7 through 9) on the right.

So how do we do it?

Our instructors are classically trained artists, and we use our knowledge to support our students with clear and encouraging step by step instruction.

In our group classes, we work with each student individually. Instead of telling a student what is

"wrong" or what is "right," we ask questions, guiding our students to really look, to accurately place shapes and refine their drawings to the best of their abilities. Even our youngest students can begin to measure shapes and make comparisons, creating drawings with accurate proportions and placement.

Where do we start?

Student Drawing, Age 9

Students begin using dry pastels. Younger students can choose images from a large selection of drawings created especially for our program. We're constantly adding more fun images to choose from, based on our students' interests and suggestions.

Older students may begin by creating a still life drawing from observation, such as this still life by a 14 year old student, done on her first day of class!

Students in pastel drawing will learn the correct techniques to apply the material. By applying the pastel in layers, students can build up surface of their drawing, making colors appear vibrant and using shading to describe three-dimensional form. Students at this stage begin mixing their own colors to match what they see, and are introduced to the idea of "value" to describe how light or how dark a color appears.

Charcoal Drawing

In charcoal drawing, students are introduced to an entirely new medium. By representing what they see without using color, students learn to isolate "value." By eliminating color, we focus on using transitions between light and shadow to describe three dimensional form. Here are some wonderful examples of charcoal drawing by our students, ages 9 to 13:

Graphite Drawing

Similar to charcoal drawing, graphite drawing eliminates the element of color, and students focus on observing and replicating the subtle nuances in light and shadow that they see by using value. In graphite, students slowly build the drawing from light to dark, using a range of graphite drawing pencils. Here are some examples of a recent graphite work by a 13 year old student in our kid's class!