Drawing is Not Just an Activity
Mrs Shaista Siddiqui : Clinical Psychologist witknowlearn
Adults, when asked to
draw, say ‘I can’t draw’ or ‘I am not good at drawing’. Pablo Picasso stated that -all children are born
artist; the problem is to remain an artist when they grow up. Many of us have
not understood the advantage of drawing as a subject or reflected upon the
benefits of learning this skill. Drawing is the most primitive skill used by
our ancestors since the time of cave painting, whether to tell their stories,
express themselves or to communicate with others. Our brain has a great
connection with drawings. Psychologist use drawings as a medium of
understanding personality. It is believed that we project our underlying
motives, needs, conflicts, interpersonal relationships and our inner world
through drawings. For young kids who cannot verbalize themselves drawing is
used to help them express their emotions. However, in schools drawing is merely
considered an activity. Students do not view their drawing class as an
important subject for their holistic development.
Drawing ameliorates cognitive, emotional and motor development of a child. At the preprimary level and early years of schooling, drawing can be used as a great medium to refine fine motor skills. A child can learn how to use eye-hand coordination with the help of drawings. Improved eye-hand coordination aids a child to copy down notes from the board.
Our internal senses, the ones which are not visible but definitely play an important role in our body are the vestibular and proprioception senses. When we are drawing we use the vestibular senses not only by making use of our hands, limbs and body to maintain the right posture but we also use the proprioception senses to send messages to the brain which coordinates movement through our joints and muscles while drawing. Occupational therapists thus incorporate a lot of drawing worksheets to help children with sensory integration dysfunction also known as Sensory processing disorder (SPD).
Visual perception is an ability sharpened by drawing. It is an ability to organize and interpret the information that is seen and give it meaning. The other two abilities which are heightened because of drawing are Spatial Reasoning and Closure ability. Spatial reasoning is the capacity to think about objects in three dimensions and to draw conclusions about those objects from limited information whereas closure ability is the ability to fill in the gaps or missing parts of a whole.
We are well aware that drawing fosters creativity and boost imagination. What we are incognizant about is that when a child is provided with a blank sheet of paper and asked to draw, the child has to plan how to draw. Every drawing contains planning and organization. Adding colours to the drawing involves judgment and experimentation. A complete drawing gives the child a sense of accomplishment, boost confidence and also the ability to reflect, revise, rethink and refine through the process of creation.
The other paybacks of drawing are that it improves concentration as it enhances one’s ability to sit focused for hours on one task and be detail-oriented. It is a means of cultivating openness, critical thinking, visualization, imagery, promoting aesthetic and personal awareness, the ability to express oneself in different forms and travel in one’s imagination. It is a channel through which one can understand the relationships between the past and present the changes taking place in society. It allows one to explore and become sensitive to the finer nuances of the immediate environment.
The benefits of drawing are endless. Nevertheless, for students aspiring to get into fields like engineering especially civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and careers like architecture, civil draftsman, animation, fine arts, interior designing, fashion designing, apparel and textile, designing, commercial art etc. should regard drawing as an integral part of their life.