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Create Like a Child: Back to Basics

Picture making by children

When you are creating artwork on a daily basis, managing your output to meet deadlines it can be easy to lose your sense of play. But when you have a little reprieve from the confinement of deadlines it's a great opportunity to try a fresh and child-like creative approach. You can always get back to "serious work" later, but you may find that you make some new discoveries during play-time. I recently read this article from Fine Art Tips where they discuss using techniques inspired by how children create.


"Newness – Tip: Go to a new location to sketch, or look at something you’ve seen many times (like a building or favorite object) and draw it or paint it from a new perspective. Sit on the floor or the ground (or walk around on your knees) to see the world from a child’s point of view. If you can, talk to your child (or a child you know) about a certain topic, then create your piece based on their response.


Simplicity – Tip: When you’re feeling uninspired, go back to the basics. Grab a box of crayons and a blank sheet of paper and see what you can create. Observe your child drawing and ask to draw with him or her. Even coloring in a coloring book can help you free your mind to think of ideas and inspire your own art.


Working outside the norm – Tip: This one is simple; try something new. If you typically work with acrylics, use watercolor pencils, or if you sketch, paint instead. Learn a new trade, like computer design, or find a new subject matter. You probably won’t make a masterpiece on your first try, but you may learn to love it, or at the very least, learn to appreciate your chosen medium."


I bought this fabulous book Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered. It certainly follows the idea of creating with child-like abandon. The illustrations are by Quentin Blake famous for his wacky illustrations for Rold Dahl books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. You get funny exercises to complete within the book and both the writing and drawings are sure to give you a giggle while coaxing out your inner-child. I had no qualms about buying this book for myself despite the fact that I think it's supposed to be for kids. This book makes drawing super fun. 

Oh, and then I bought it for my partner and my mom who in-turn bought it for my niece and nephew.

Drawing for the artistically undiscovered

Can you remember what is was like to create drawings when you were a child?


I used to draw elaborate dresses on the figures I drew. I used every colour of marker that I had. There were different patterns and layers to the dresses. Polka dots, bows and layers of lace hems. Lace hems were my favourite to make. I loved making those dress drawings, I am sure I was silent for hours. Perhaps you had a particular subject you liked to draw or different marks that you liked to make, I'd like to invite you to go back to that place, just for yourself and see what happens.


Grab your sketchbook and head to the blanket fort !

drawing of a girl holding a book

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Image source [3]

About the author

Artist in residence Rebecca Chaperon

Rebecca Chaperon is our Artist-in-Residence

With a compulsion to create unique visual stories, her paintings often follow the thread of a heroine's misadventures through a surreal landscape.

She's had the pleasure of teaching at Langara College and given community workshops on painting techniques with an emphasis on watercolour, oil and acrylic. She is a board member at the Grunt gallery.

View her online portfolio

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