Below is my list of essential art supplies for my drawing class. You can order directly from my picks.
|Are Crayons really harmless?|
It is my firm belief that crayons do more to hinder children from growing in art skill and confidence than help. Sure, they are still fun for preschoolers to use, but will do little to help them learn about color blending, pressure, line, and shading. It is an altogether unforgiving medium. You can not change it. You can not sketch with it.
My anti-crayon dogma's mold began to set way back in pre-kindergarten age. I loved drawing as a child, and we didn't have art tools or even crayons at home until I was in Highschool.
I instead drew on our chalkboard, day after day with chalk. Every time I went to church and colored in Sunday School it was with the dreaded crayons. There, i felt like I could not draw, and I couldn't understand why. I remember crying, because I had felt like I really could draw at home. Little did I know that chalk was a great medium to learn how to draw. The texture, feel, and shading one could achieve (though limited) was much closer to Charcoals or Pastels. I had to hold the chalk with the fingers loosely (otherwise it would break). I could not make detailed, tight, or small scale pieces, but instead had to draw larger and therefore use my whole arm. I had no idea, what kind of advantage I had been given in my crayon-less home. I would often section off my favorite sketches on the family chalkboard and try to keep them from erasing away. But even the temporariness of the product, allowed me to enjoy the process of drawing and not get caught up in the pressure of completing a permanent work. The angle of the surface I was drawing on was ideal, since my eyes were able to be parallel with the drawing. Typical drawing while sitting at a desk on a flat surface forces distortion because whatever is closest to your eyes will appear larger than what is farther from you. Standing and drawing is great since it allows more freedom to move your arms. If need be you can even fix large paper on your wall and sketch from that. For sketching on paper, I recommend using a sketching board and angling it against a table or something while it is on your lap at a 45% angle.
I have to admit, I do have the forbidden wax substance in our home. I have two kids under 4 after all, but I do make sure they have access to more flexible mediums. When they turn 5, I will be forced confiscate them and make candles or something for the sake of their future.