The shading, circumference and dimensional realism: this one’s definitely a keeper.

“Honey, what did you draw?

Whether unintentionally inappropriate, funny or brilliant—my daughter’s artwork is getting interesting. In fact, she recently brought home this gem from school. It’s not “A Tiger in a Castle with a Butterfly,” “Lip Gloss,” or “A Paper Towel in a Box.” Those are the titles of her other creative colorings.

Get your mind out of the gutter, m’kay? According to my wide-eyed, smiling preschooler, the precious piece pictured above: It’s a dinosaur!” Whatever it is, that reptile is big! Turn it vertical—BAM! You got a brontosaurus!

I come from a “less is more” perspective and can appreciate the integrity of this concept. It’s so well put together. The dark, flat tones of the dinosaur are in strong contrast to the negative space around it—providing depth, making it pop from the page.

Flowing lines create a dramatic tone against its rough, uneven texture. The asymmetrical shape—curvaceous, elongated, then angular—creates movement, drawing the focal point towards the arched neck of this reptilian beast, who seems to be in search of something to eat.

If there is one artistic element I could criticize, I’d say it probably would have benefited from a little more softening, specifically around the lower body, to lighten and create legs.

With that, I want to say “I love the concept” and hope I haven’t stepped on any tiny toes. Clearly my little artist has terrific doodling skills.

Inspiration came from the preschool lesson plan focusing on animals, reptiles and habitats. Children submitted photos and created a classroom collage of their pets. They reviewed an ABC animal list, solved critter riddles and learned about their families. It was the introduction to reptiles and dinosaurs that prompted this masterpiece.

Our kids come from a family of talented creatives who have an eye for art, and include them in projects. At home, we actively, draw, paint and scribble together. Their bedroom walls display a gallery of framed oils on canvas, created by family members.

When we visit the aunts and uncles, our kids stay busy creating bird houses from gourds, painting rocks, molding clay figures and knitting. Best of all they get to hang at their Aunt Bridget’s art studio, filled with original drawings, sketches and paintings.

It’s amazing how much entertainment an innocent drawing can provide. My child definitely has an imagination, and I see nothing wrong with that. I will continue to support and embrace her artistic side.

Now I’ve got to find a frame and figure out which room in the house will be the perfect place to showcase this dinosaur.

Featured Photo Courtesy: Sara Shanahan



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