One of the best things you can give your kids is an appreciation of art. A way to express their creative skills. Whether it’s with crayons, paint, pencil, ink, or magic marker. Or ketchup. Or maybe it’s with modeling clay, PlayDoh, pancake batter, sand at the beach, or painting with your finger on a dirty car window.
This month is a chance for you and your kids to make art with ink — with pens and markers! It’s called INKtober, and it’s very simple. According to Jake Parker there are 4 rules:
1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).
2) Post it on tumblr (or Instagram, twitter, facebook, flickr, Pinterest or just pin it on your wall.)
3) Hashtag it with #inktober
4) Repeat (you can do it daily, like me, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. What ever you decide, just be consistent with it. INKtober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better.)
Start with a pencil sketch if you like, then ink the lines you want to keep, then gently erase all the pencil. According to Griselda, sketching with ink will help you become a more confident artist. So, try it, if you’re feeling brave!
Want to help your kids love art?
Give them the tools and opportunity they need to try things out. It doesn’t have to cost an arm or leg:
For younger kids:
paper — just get a ream of printer paper
pencils — regular #2’s work great
a great eraser
colored pencils — inexpensive set is around $1-5
small sketchbooks — around $5
For older kids:
large sketchbooks (8 1/2 x 11)
a great eraser
pens — inking pens, rollerball pens, art pens
colored pencils — a nice quality set is around $10-20
a small pencil sharpener — Faber-Castell has a red dual sharpener for $5
a pencil case to keep everything in
Spend time together drawing. The only rule is no one is allowed to draw on anyone else’s drawing. And if they are using a sketchbook, teach them to only draw on one side of the page (and leave the back blank).
The most important thing you can do is be encouraging. Remember, everyone creates art differently, and everyone has their own personal tastes of which art looks “good” to them. Try to find something positive about what they have created.
Art can be anywhere, and is an important part of our individual identity — who we are. Art comes from the soul. Art can make us laugh, smile, cry, be angry, inspired, or confused.
And here’s my our first #INKtober sketch, done by my 11 year old daughter. She’s not quite done with it, but had to go to school. It’s Celestia, from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I love the thoughtful expression on her face, as she’s looking at the moon.
Tonight, we’ll do some sketching together, and then do our 30 minutes of reading before bed. Since we’re reading Outcast, a Warriors book by Erin Hunter, maybe we’ll do some cat sketches. *meow*
What will you create with your kids?