I haven’t yet read the book, but I found this write-up about the recently published Stick Figures: Drawing as a Human Practice by design historian D.B. Dowd very interesting. He encourages drawing as a practice rather than an aesthetic art form.
Our anxiety around drawing starts around puberty, when we begin self-critiquing our abilities to render a perfect likeness, Dowd says.
I have definitely noticed a marked difference in their own expectations between the 2nd and 5th grade students, and it serves only as a handicap to their ability to express themselves. I’m all for making beautiful marks, but sometimes just getting the narrative down (or starting the exploration) is what’s most important. I encourage them to not view their drawings with such a critical eye, and some of Dowd’s words will be my new backup. “At its core, drawing is a problem-solving tool.”
I also love this:
“If practiced in the service of inquiry and understanding, drawing does enforce modesty,” says Dowd. “You quickly discover how little you know.”
“Drawing makes us slow down, be patient, pay attention,” he says. “Observation itself is respectful, above all else.”
Excuse me while I grab my pen and paper.