How to help a child be confident about their art

Last week when my son returned from school laden with a huge colourful painting I didn’t say ‘whats that?’ Insead I asked him if he would like to to tell me about his picture. He eagerly sat down and told me about this tree he was supposed to copy that was black and white but how he had wanted to make it like a rainbow tree that made people happy. He said I could share it with you:


How to help a child be confident about their art



It’s the,most he has told me about any art he has created in ages. Normally I say ‘ Oh thats nice what is it ?’ To which he would reply  ‘It’s a tree’  followed by whats for tea? Can I watch Scooby Doo? Let’s play footabll.’

‘What is it?’ implies I don’t recognise what it is or it implies his picture should be a thing not an experience or a feeling but an object and one I can understand. Children either may consider you should already know what it is or may have created something  that just is rather than an object. Inviting them to TELL you about their picture insteasd invites them to share the process, emotion and experience of their art not just describing a ‘thing’ they have created. Give it a go!

Last week I waent ot a round table with  Professor Angela Anning an expert  and author on children , child development and art.  Another great tip she shared was that at age 6 or 7 children become self concious and if they cannot draw something accurately often perceive they are not ‘good’ at art. At this point she suggests ensuring the see a lot of different art  from Picassos cubes to the Fauvists use of birght colour to an impressionsistic sunset. This way children will know there are many ways to be an artist and photographic like copying is but one way.

I find all this incredibly helpful as a parent.  Angela’s ideas are inspirational


Making Sense of Children's Drawings


Making Sense of Children’s Drawings by Angela Anning and Kathy Ring published by Open University Press.(ISBN 0335 21265 4)

The roundtable I attended was spnosored by Bic who know a thing or two about kids and art and the new products they were launching clearly show this. Let me introduce you to this awesome new range.


Water brush over your pencils to turn them into paint!


These are untra washable with vibrant colours and your children can make as may dots as they like these nibs are super strong!!


Easy to sharpen and not made of wood so clean breaks, no jagged edges and a new pencil!


Twistable colouring crayons, long lasting, very hard to snap, clean hands too!


And these felt tips…you can leave the caps off for 3 MONTHS and they won’t dry out…WOW!

Now these is are a great budget buy because they will last. Cheapy felt tips last mere weeks no matter how much you badger kids to replace lids and not press too hard. These withstand kids and allow them to fous instead on cretaing art.  Each BIC Kids product retails between 33-£5 and are excllent quality innovative products. My children loved them. There are many more in the Bic Kids range each with excellent features.

Do visit Bic Kids .com there is a fanatstic competition plu online colouring there..lots for you and your children to benefit from

Bic gave me tea at the Ritz! and some colouring products. my view  are as always my own!  



  1. June 29, 2011 / 7:25 am

    Putting your kids’ artwork up, esp in frames even if cheapo ones, or paper ones shows that you value what they create – my kids, and their friends, are always so happy if I put up their creations.

  2. June 29, 2011 / 7:26 am

    ps If you don’t know the books by MaryAnn Kohl I think you should look them out – they’re US but full of great ideas. Artful Parent is a big fan.

  3. Becky
    June 29, 2011 / 7:31 am

    Thanks Zoe I love it when people share top ideas! My mum had a heart I made her up on the wall for about 30 years. Its back with me now. That meant so much to me!

  4. June 29, 2011 / 7:58 am

    What a fabulous post Becky! I hold my hands up – I’m guilty of asking ‘What’s that?’. Will try and follow this advice next time and see where it leads.

    Thank you. Love the sound of some of those products too!

  5. Maria @verybusymama
    June 29, 2011 / 10:37 am

    You have no idea just how much insight and confidence this session gave me and as always so good to see you! Was wondering if you could give me the name of the book you mentioned that teaches you to draw simple things, like animals? I need to improve 🙂

    Maria x

  6. June 30, 2011 / 7:41 am

    Great post Becky. Great idea to invite your child to tell you about a picture rather than ask them what it is – because you should know. I generally have no idea what my boys draw so I will ask them to describe it next time.

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  8. Chris at Thinly Spread
    July 1, 2011 / 5:54 pm

    Well done Becky! The ‘show me tell me’ works so much better than the ‘what’s that’! I’m glad it worked so well for you! AND…what a FABULOUS picture!

  9. Muddling Along
    July 4, 2011 / 11:15 am

    That’s great – I do struggle with saying something about Bigger’s many, many pictures – she’s still small so they aren’t exactly Van Gough but there are some great tips here


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