I love letting children do stuff in my sketchbook and over the years I’ve tried different strategies. As I want all the pages of my sketchbook to tie together in some way I’m always exploring ways of letting go but still having some degree of control. 🙂
Last January I was drawing in my book and then letting my nephew and niece add colour using my coloured pencils. I then added some sketchbook design to finish off the page. See this article for details.
This worked well initially but the next time they weren’t as interested and so it was a bit of a messy page. I then bought loose paper that they drew on and I then glued selected pieces into my sketchbook. BTW getting to use Auntie Liz’s art supplies is more important than what they draw on.
And then in recent months, I’ve simply let them do whatever they want on pages in the back of my current sketchbook. I pull out my current sketching kit and let them do what they want (trying to limit their work to a few pages!)
I’m often trying to follow the adult conversation in the room (catching up with my brother and sister-in-law) at the same time as directing the kids, drawing, making colour suggestions, sharpening pencils, giving tips etc.
It can be a little chaotic and I’m never sure when the kids will suddenly lose interest, so working in the back pages of my sketchbook is the easiest option.
Over Christmas, they had a lot of fun colouring in the Australian-themed Christmas drawings which were on an Amazon box. (How cool is this idea?)
To facilitate this I put together a dedicated set of watercolour pencils (WCP) for them to use so they are not going through my art supplies as much. (It can be hard to find stuff after they have been going through the pockets of my bag!)
I’m really happy with this new idea of bringing with me a WCP set just for the kids!
Last week I started drawing my nephew’s new fireman outfit (he was running around at the time) as a way of drawing more objects (one of my goals for the year). But as soon as he saw what I was doing he asked if he could colour it.
We then started a serious sketching session!
I asked for an object which I could draw and then he added colour using the Albrecht Durer pencils. While he was just about finished colouring I had the idea of adding watercolour (or just water) over the top.
This was really successful as we are working on the sketches together and the watercolour/water layer helps me modify the colouring-in. I’m giving tips along the way but sometimes the pencil work turns out too heavy and sometimes too light or scribbly. So using watercolour pencils is brilliant. Lots of options!
The next day we did the same thing again!
My nephew suggested that I come over EVERY day to sketch with him. 🙂
I also have some softcover booklets by Super5 that I’ve had for years and then used. I bring these with me every time I visit so if they feel like sketching from scratch they draw in these books.
I love that my sweet 6-year-old nephew enjoys drawing so much!
We are having SO much fun and even when we are not drawing together he is constantly saying to me “Auntie Liz, you could sketch this!” It’s his way of prompting me to start the next sketching session.
They are growing up so quickly! It’s nice to have these pages in my sketchbooks as a way of remembering these special times.