Painting was one of my childhood hobbies. I was so attached to drawing and painting with watercolors that I would spend hours at end locked up in my room. Even though, due to our lifestyle we were very social as children and spent a lot of time in outdoor activities and meeting and spending time with friends, I would always find time for this particular hobby. I loved reading also, almost as much as painting. As we’ve explored in one of our previous articles – The Joy of Reading, just like reading, we really wanted Aarohi to inherit painting from us, as it was my absolute favorite hobby. Now why this hobby never realized into a career is a whole different story that we’ve covered in another article – Sir Ken Robinson – The Element. One of the main reasons for homeschooling Aarohi was so that we can avoid putting her in the same situation as us. We want her to explore and find her own Element as and when she’s ready to adapt it to her life and make a career out of it. We obviously aspire for her to make a career out of any of the artistic fields which involve Arts and crafts or Performance Arts. Which path she eventually takes will be of her own choosing.
We want her to explore and find her own Element as and when she’s ready to adapt it to her life and make a career out of it.
Just like reading, one cannot expect children to automatically have an affinity towards painting. So how we approached it is Children See Children Do. I got back in touch with my most cherished childhood memories, pulled out my sketchbook and started drawing again. Here are a few early doodles:
Watching me draw these, peaked Aarohi’s interest. But ofcourse these were way too advanced for her to pickup. So when she came up to me and asked if she could draw with me, I started searching for basic drawing tutorials on youtube. Behold, as it turns out Disney has it’s own Channel with a playlist dedicated to just teaching how to draw their cartoon characters – Animation Academy. Since Aarohi was watching Big Hero 6 at that time so Baymax was the first character that I drew for her. Here’s the Disney video for your viewing pleasure:
As it turns out she had no interest in drawing at all. In that one moment it felt like all our dreams were shattered. But then we realised that she actually loved painting with crayons and we procedded to buy as many coloring books as we could. Over a period of time she migrated to watercolors. So we started buying bigger coloring books that she could place on a small eisel and paint with brushes. This seemed to capture her interest for some time.
In the meantime, I started feeling that I was not able to take part in her activity. So what I did was when Snehal and Aarohi were in India on vacation and I was back in Dubai, I went ahead and drew a bunch of cartoon characters, painted them with watercolors, laminated them and stuck them up all over the bedroom walls. When Aarohi came back from vacation and saw her favorite characters on the walls, she also wanted to paint them. The idea seemed to work. So then I took 2 print outs of each character and we painted them together. All her paintings went on the living room walls. This soon became one of our regular activities. Not to claim that we did it every day. There were times when she would not want to do it. But it sure did come in handy at times when we needed to get her off the television.
At the time that we are writing this article, Snehal is pregnant with our second child. As a result, she and Aarohi are again in India till the delivery. I’ve of course taken this opportunity to learn painting with Oil Colors via Bob Ross‘ Joy of Painting series. The plan is again to paint a bunch of those and put them up on the bedroom wall for her to see and get inspired by when she comes back. Here are a few I’ve done till now: