Missus Moo

Drawing faces has never been a strength.  Now I am trying to develop this skill.  My six year old daughter is interested in the whole drawing process and will sit for me for 5-10 minutes.  In this image, her face became shrunken and dysmorphic within a massive head – later I smeared this and redrew into it from memory.  I fixed the charcoal.  My wife claims to be unable to draw.  Still, it took her about 10 seconds to work out I still had the proportions all wrong.  The fixed drawing took a second layer of charcoal very readily, allowing me to lose about half the head.  After all this adjustment, I still cannot capture my daughter’s general air of mischief and fun.


Here are some of their experiments with drawing in chalk pastel, told to try looking at the objects not draw from their ideas alone.  I also suggested not to try to get a likeness but instead to get the patterns and colours from what they were seeing.  In the lower one, she was trying to get the sense of a twig laden with dried oak leaves (“leath” = “leaf”).

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In case you are wondering, Missus Moo is a version of Madam Monkey, one of her many names.  It’s slightly better than “King Rat” which is how my oldest son addresses his smallest brother.


3 responses to “Missus Moo

  1. I know what you mean and sympathise. My kids come out looking like aged sages from some graphic comic. It’s all that smooth, unwrinkled skin. Luckily my self portraits don’t have that problem; there’s plenty of shadow and line. Love your children’s drawing. My 11 and 9 year old refuse to pick up a pencil these days. Interesting you are suggesting they work from what they see. I ‘m not sure I could get anything down from my imagination.

  2. Thanks. I seem to remember your blog has both drawings of and by your children. I must look again. What i notice is that my children draw in icons. For ages they drew steotyped houses with grass and smoking chimney when thy wnted to draw picture. Where did that come from? Suggesting they actually look and draw is novel. Recently we played at drawing eachother using a continuous line without looking at the paper. I wonder if drawing is inately symbolic and linguistic like writing, whereas one has to train oneself to look and interpret the world in likenesses let alone progressing to visual abstraction. This is contrary to the accepted wisdom i think.

  3. Your children’s drawings are priceless, we have boxes of them and some are framed. I am forever foraging in something and coming across another little memory trigger. I think you are absolutely right about drawing – and everyone interprets what they see in such wonderfully different ways. Lots of fun times drawing with your children – especially if you are experimenting together. One of my twins has cerebral palsy and her drawings of spatial relationships has in one sense remained static (around a 6 to 8 year old) she is now nearly 20 and it is a skill that many adult artists (myself included) would love to attain. Progress to visual abstraction is difficult and it is interesting that progress and regress are almost an interchangeable verb in this situation. 🙂

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