Learning how to draw is a worthwhile activity for our children. We tend to lump drawing in with art rather than perceiving it as a helpful tool that can aid us in many activities throughout our lives. Drawing is no more “art” than writing is poetry. We can use drawing to create fine art, and we can use writing to create poetry; but both drawing and writing serve many more functions than art or poetry. Drawing is a tool we can use throughout our lives, and it can even benefit our brains.
Sketching out an idea can help prepare us for writing. When we need to remember something, drawing can aid our memory more than jotting down notes, making it an ideal tool for studying. Even doodling at random while listening has been demonstrated to help us focus.
Children draw from an early age, but many abandon drawing after deciding they are not good at it. When they do, they lose a useful skill that could serve them in many ways.
Just like writing, drawing is a skill not an innate talent; and like any other skill, drawing skills are improved through guidance and practice.
In high school I took a drawing class at a nearby art college on Saturdays, and I had an amazing teacher who truly taught me how to draw. He taught drawing as an academic subject, not as an art. He showed us how to look closely at objects, how to draw shadows and core shadows, and how to practice hand-eye coordination. He insisted drawing was not about “feelings.” It is a skill that has to be learned and practiced, he said.
Illustrator and author of Anyone Can Draw, Shoo Rayner provides a great explanation of the difference between drawing and art here:
Instead of allowing our children to abandon drawing when they decide they are not good at it, we can help them to practice and improve their skills.
Here are 15 resources that teach kids how to draw:
10 How to Draw YouTube Channels for Kids
Shoo Rayner offers this instructional YouTube channel with short drawing tutorials showing how to draw everything from dogs and cats to “swans of love” and Medusa.
Kids can draw along with this enthusiastic dad and his kids as they draw and then color vibrant pictures. Kids will love drawing out unicorns, smiling ice cream cones, and their favorite cartoon characters.
For cute easy drawings, Draw So Cute offers step-by-step drawing videos of all things cute—a panda holding a balloon, a winking watermelon popsicle, and even some cute school supplies.
Another YouTube drawing channel with art tutorials for kids, HooplaKids Doodle offers a wide range of drawing videos for kids drawing everything from fairly advance renderings of Disney princesses to more simplistic animal drawings.
A little more advanced than the above channels, Cool Kids Art on YouTube shows fans how to draw popular superheroes like Iron Man and popular Fortnite characters.
This is a great channel for elementary to middle school age children with upbeat easy-to-follow tutorials for how to draw all your favorite cartoon characters.
For older kids, Darlene from Rapid Fire Art offers detailed drawing videos with a goal of helping “even the most complete beginner draw something they once thought was impossible.” She also offers a list of helpful drawing tools.
Don’t let the cartoon logo fool you. This is a serious drawing channel where older children and teens can learn to draw realistic portraits by watching a skilled artist complete pencil drawings. The videos are set to upbeat music and generally do not include oral explanations or narration.
This channel offers a wide range of artistic drawing for beginners videos. The artist often uses oil pastels, softly blended with a tissue for a smooth bright finish. The videos are not narrated but set to music.
Young Rembrandts is an after-school drawing program for children, created with the idea that drawing “is a visual tactile medium that meets children in their learning need.” The program also has its own YouTube channel with several drawing videos for kids.
5 Drawing for Kids Blogs and Websites
You can either print or view easy drawing for kids tutorials from these five websites with step-by-step drawing instructions for children.
This website offers drawing tutorials as well as some interesting art history and general tips on drawing and creativity.
This wonderful website has endless simple how to draw step-by-step drawing instructions for kids. She also has several PDF ebooks with collections of her tutorials. She also offers other craft ideas for kids.
This how to draw website offers just what it promises: easy drawing guides. Kids can learn how to draw draw various animals, a cartoon characters, planets, and more.
Sparkle Box has a selection of learning and literacy activities, and they have a section of easy step-by-step drawing tutorials.
This website has downloadable step-by-step drawing instructions for kids as well as videos of the same drawings.