Monday 30 January 2012

Freestyle painting - project 2

(Goblin is 27 months)
Today we did another freestyle art project. 
I discovered some flipcharts under my bed. I bought a pack of five ages ago and I put them under my bed because they are so big I couldn't store them anywhere else. I totally forgot they existed. They are so perfect for Goblin's painting because they are big and he can move around the paper.
 When I was at school I remember they had to teach us about using the whole paper. All the kids in my class , myself included, used to draw small things at the bottom of the page*. We'd leave the majority of the page blank. Even up to secondary school (high school) we weren't making full use of the paper or canvas we were given.
It intrigues me that Goblin has no such restrictions on his artistic flair. He moves around using all the paper that is in his reach. And when he's filled up the bit he can reach he moves around and uses a different edge as the 'bottom' of the page. I assume this freedom is the same with all toddlers - is that right?
I don't know how or why children move from this free form art to the restrictive little drawings that I remember from my childhood. It may just be that in concentrating on drawing a specific thing - rather than enjoying the process of using different materials, they need to draw smaller and concentrate harder. Or it could be a reflection of something wider - a more restricted life in general as the child gets older.
I remember the sense of pleasure that was returned to me when my art teacher gave me an A1 sheet of paper and told me to draw and apple that filled the whole page. You couldn't do it sitting still. You needed to use your whole body to move up and down to reach the edges of the paper. It made the whole process much more pleasurable.
At the moment Goblin seems to naturally do this, but I'll have to remember this as he gets older and watch to see if his drawings shrink into the bottom of the page.
But for now my only problem is I am running out of wall space for these bigger bits of art. 

*Adendem: After posting this, Kelly over at Happy Whimsical Hearts shared an article with me (thank you Kelly) that explains why kids start to draw everything at the bottom of the page. Its called their baseline. Have a read of this really interesting article at

I'm linking this to
abc button It's Playtime at hands on : as we grow


  1. Love his freestyle painting. I just read an interesting article about children's development and art, you might like to check it out

  2. I downloaded the article onto my phone and have been reading it on the train, I'm half way through and its really interesting. Thanks for giving me the link.

  3. Wonderful! Looks like you had LOTS of fun there. And such a great way to let her explore her own creativity!

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!



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