A Book I wish I Had Written

Art for Kids


The Only Book You’ll Ever Need to Be the Artist You’ve Always Wanted to Be.

by Kathryn Temple

kathryn temple book   kathryn temple book 2

I was recently browsing the shelves of a public library and discovered Kathryn Temple’s Art for Kids Drawing, (2005, Sterling Children’s Books, New York. ISBN 978-1-4027-8477-4).

The subtitle of the book says it all: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need to Be the Artist You’ve Always Wanted to Be.

Oh how I wish I had written this book, or at least had it when I was a child. It is simple, yet comprehensive. Although written for children, it is exactly the resource I love as a teacher. The diagrams and sketches are relevant, the language plain, and the drawings delightful.

All the important issues are addressed in the foreword (don’t skip reading that) and the eight chapters cover all that anyone needs to know to develop excellent drawing skills

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From the table of contents to the index I am impressed, enjoying every page. Those of you who are (like me) fans of Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain will recognise the wisdoms described so simply here in Art for Kids Drawing.

The book is a useful size, soft cover, portable. It is not at all intimidating but makes drawing well seem the most natural thing in the world – which it is for children, until we “squeeze it out” of them in our urgency to educate using the left side of the brain.

In the delightful and informative foreword Kathryn writes “…”everyone starts out as an artist – it’s just that some people have most of the artist squeezed out of them by the time they grow up.”

Page 9 (in the edition I have on my lap as I type) gives a list of “Drawing Rules to Live By or Life Rules to Draw By. These five simple rules would serve well on the walls of classrooms everywhere.

You can be sure that this one is on my shopping list for when my grandchildren are a little older. Everything I would like to teach them is here, and in the meantime I am going to enjoy some revision myself!

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