Illustrator, designer, and mother of two, Marion Deuchars has created a unique book both for kids who love to draw and adults who have forgotten how much fun a pencil and piece of paper can be. Let's Make Some Great Art is part interactive coloring/activity book, part art education, and part imagination cookbook.The original concept for the book, as well as many of the included activities, were initially devised by Deuchars for her two boys (ages 5-6) in an attempt to keep them drawing as long as possible before an inevitable move to computer screens and video games. And it shows. Each page is designed with wonderfully bold illustrations that only a thoughtful mom and talented artist would create. They possess a quality that both grabs your attention and yet are simple enough not to intimidate, laying a stage for a kid's imagination.
There are so many neat activities crammed into this book it's hard to know where to begin. Open to any one of the 224 pages and you'll find ideas inspired by renowned artists (make a Matisse style collage, or re-create Mona Lisa's smile); interesting facts about the origins of colors (Cleopatra ordered 1,000 sea snails to be crushed in order to make a few ounces of purple pigment); goof-proof instructions for drawing a bicycle; or simple doodling exercises to hone your drawing skills.
The book is aimed at kids eight and older. So my four-year-old is a bit young for some of the exercises (e.g. draw your fist in 30 seconds while trying not to look at the paper); still, there's plenty of stuff he's more than capable of tackling. Activities as simple as making fingerprint creatures, or filling a page with wiggly lines or repeating shapes, to more imaginative instructions like: draw what a bird might be dreaming about, or sketch the interior of a magic mountain.
Want some more examples? Check out the website here, or watch some videos of kids in action.
Let's Make Some Great Art by Marion Deuchars, $19.95
(Images: Ben Partridge)
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