Practicing Visual Art at Home


Guest Post by Hilary Key, Director, and CEO of Art Steps



Hilary Key

In my 20 years teaching and coaching children in classical, realistic drawing and painting skills, I have occasionally come across exceptionally gifted young artists who either came to us with great skill or whose artistic development was accelerated. I have asked their parents,“What’s your secret? How did you nurture that talent at home?” Students themselves have also lent insight into what supported and lit them up, over the years.


Here are some of my favorite tips from extraordinary families whose children clearly thrived artistically at home. (For more information about Art Steps and how to receive a free introductory class please see the bottom of the post.)


Age 2-5

Provide a Two-Sided Easel

An easel is consistently available when a young child is ready to draw; it cannot easily fall prey to piles of clutter like a table can. One exceptional middle school artist said that her childhood habit of drawing both on the paper and the chalkboard side of her $12 Ikea easel provided some of her favorite memories, nurturing her love of mark-making at an early age. Make sure to keep the roll of paper ready to go, and stay stocked up on chalk.


Age 6-8

Build Sketching Time into the Routine