Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Make Your Mark: The Drawing Book for Children

Make Your Mark: The Drawing Book for Children

Sarah Richardson
For ages 8 and up
Tate, 2012   ISBN: 978-1849761116

Humans have been creating drawings for thousands of years. In the past they drew pictures on cave walls and stone surfaces, some of which we can still see today. We are not sure why our ancient ancestors created these images. Maybe they were trying to tell a story, or maybe they just wanted to be creative. Just like these people of long ago, we can make our mark through art.

Thankfully, we don’t have to use cave walls as our canvas. Instead, we can use pieces of paper or sketchbooks, or we can take our favorite drawings and glue them into a scrapbook.

To create our art we can use a wide variety of tools such as pens, pencils, paints, and other media. Using these tools we can create a wide variety of textures and tones, and we can use inks and paints in creative ways that are ‘outside the box.’ Who says that ink needs to be put on a brush or in a pen. It can be blown across a piece of paper using a straw. Wax crayons can be used to make rubbings of textured surfaces such as leaves. Charcoal and chalk can be smudged with a finger to create interesting images.

Often the biggest problem that artists face is that they don’t know what to draw. A blank page can be intimidating. The author of this book recommends that we try drawing “Everything and anything.” Draw something real or made up. Draw “a feeling, a mood, a memory, an experience, a wish or a dream.” The important thing to remember is that you are in charge of this journey and “There are no limits.”

Readers of this book will discover that when the author says there are no limits she means it. Scribbles, straight lines, arrows, curved lines, spirals, circles and other shapes can all be used to create art. Put shapes together to create figures of people and animals. Try adding patterns. Then try drawing faces and bodies.

In this delightful title the author gives her readers a guidebook to drawing that is unintimidating, fun, and delightfully accessible. She helps us to set aside our worries and encourages to just go with the flow. We get to try things, to experiment, and to see where our creative inclinations take us. The destination is unknown and that is absolutely fine.