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Lesson Plans


Coloring Books

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sandra Hildreth (shildret)
Mon, 29 Apr 1996 23:59:36 -0400


I have mixed opinions about coloring books. If they are all a child ever
gets to use for coloring, it's probably harmful for them - deters
creativity and drawing skills. However, if they are given the freedom to
color in them any way they want (in other words, you don't have to stay in
the lines or use the "correct" colors), plus, have plenty of blank paper
for their own drawing, I see no harm done. There has been research
published on drawing that has shown "copying" to be a valid way for
children to develop their own skills. Not forced upon them, but used in an
instructional way. I have a child who always had access to coloring books,
and especially liked the super hero ones. He colored in them, but also drew
his own. Now, at 12, it's been years since he's used a coloring book, but
he learned a great deal about human anatomy, foreshortening (granted, it
was super hero style), shading, etc. and applies it to his own drawings.
He's into basketball now and does drawing after drawing of his sport heros
- from magazine pictures, Internet pictures, cards, and can do them
completely on his own too. He also draws them with the mouse and a computer
graphics program. Of course having 2 parents who are artists certainly
didn't hurt. But my point is - kids do better with instruction. It is
certainly possible for it to come from coloring books or comic books - just
as long as they are not forced to do it a certain way, or are restricted
from doing it their own way. Michelangelo probably developed his skills by
doing studies of models, cadavers, or statues. Kids now days can develop
their skills using coloring books and drawing images from TV, magazines,
computers, etx., as well as more traditional sources.

Sandra Hildreth <shildret>
Art 7-12, Madrid-Waddington Central School, Madrid, NY 13660
Art Methods, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617


  • Maybe reply: Marge Dickinson: "Re: Coloring Books"
  • Maybe reply: Bob Greaves: "Re: Coloring Books"