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I encourage children AND their parents to use only sketchbooks and/or
blank paper. I often have parents ask me what they can do to help
their child become a better artist. I feel the most important thing
we can teach children is to not only look at the world, but to see it.
I encourage parents to provide LOTS of blank paper for their kids
to use for drawing. Since limited public school budgets prevent
purchasing sketchbooks in school for 500/600 students, I buy
newsprint or cheap drawing paper, and construct sketchbooks with the
students for school use. Students use these for lessons, for planning
work, for sketching the still life that is usually set up in the room
or for free drawing when their work is done. The sketchbook cover is
designed by the student, using his/her name in the design, as regular
Other pages can be added during the construction, ie graph
paper, calligraphy charts(for older students). I teach an in depth
unit about computers before using the computer as another medium for
artwork. One of the aspects of the lesson of understanding the "pixel"
( short for picture element). It is the pixel which holds the color
etc on the screen. Anyway, I use 1/10" graph paper which we call
"pixel paper" to draw images that could be drawn on the computer. The
students learn about squaring the image to make curves etc. It is
quite useful in the total understanding of how a computer screen hold
Anyway, back to the coloring books. Discourage their use
ALWAYS. I find most teachers offering more blank paper to their
students and even constructing sketchbooks for classroom use.