Monday, 15 December 2014

Why children's imperfect paintings are perfect

About a week ago, my 2- and 3-year-old toddlers and I painted a picture of a tabby cat as a post-reading activity for Tubby the Tabby (see Book Review: Tubby the Tabby).  We had many painting sessions before but this was the first time the three of us painted on the same drawing paper together. In the beginning, I expected the painting to be a hot mess but in the end, I was truly amazed by the outcome. The tabby cat did not turn out as bad as I thought it would be. This painting is surprisingly the most beautiful painting of a cat I've ever seen!

The cat's eyes were originally white, and its nose was initially just a khaki oval spot. Its mouth was not outlined when we finished our painting. After leaving the painting to dry, I contemplated for a few days on whether I should add more details to the eyes on my own. I did not want to 'destroy' the painting with my adult-eye-for-detail additions. Eventually, I decided that the face of the cat should at least look friendly to the children and one way achieve that look is to give the cat a pair of round jovial eyes and a smile.

Amidst battling against myself, this painting made me realise that children are natural (and amazing) artists whose works cannot be copied by anyone (even van Gogh's Starry Night has replicas!). I would never have achieved that carefree effect on my own, which is why children's paintings are perfect.

My children's paintings are their childhood treasures which I will keep and compile. Perhaps, these could be useful for their artistic portfolio in future? God knows. Otherwise, they simply make the best memoirs of their childhood. Are you doing the same?

My 3-year-old son's Red Clouds

and his Roads.

My 2-year-old daughter's Rain

and her random smears.


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