My youngest son, Phillip, also enjoys drawing but not the same way Dallen does. He is not as passionate about it, and when things don't look quite right he will not spend hours perfecting his art. A few times I have seen him get a little frustrated and stop and move onto something else. I didn't really think much about it. I mean I do that too. Something may be interesting enough to try once or twice but not interesting enough to spend the time to perfect. And then my interest moves.
At the last FLT gathering I could see that both of my boys were spending a great deal of time drawing. Both enjoying the art, and sharing it with a couple of other friends. It was nice to see them building friendships around their art. And when we arrived home, Phillip was still talking about drawing and getting a book or two on drawing magical and/or mythical figures.
So they bought a really creative book that had mermaids, and fairies and other creatures in it. Dallen had been working on drawing a couple of the figures in the book. Phil hadn't really touched it. One morning I saw the beginning of a mermaid drawing on the table and I just asked who was starting this. Phil said it was his but he couldn't get the arms right so he quit. hmmmm. I was thinking to myself "I wonder if he quit because it wasn't coming out like he wanted, or he quit because he just didn't want to put the time into it...was he frustrated the night before or just lost interest." So I decided to look through the book and just start drawing something myself. I picked a dwarf. And started working through the process like the book showed. In a couple of minutes Phillip picked up his drawing pad and joined me, and we were both working on a dwarf.
Early on, Phillip said "I just can't get the head shape right" and I could see he was indeed frustrated. He wanted to do it, but just couldn't get it right, after erasing it a couple of times. So I offered to see if I could fix it, although I did tell him that I am not that artistic myself, so I might not get it exactly right either. LOL. He was so excited. And I just drew the shape of the head and it was good enough for him. We continued on working through the steps from the book, and a few times he would ask me if I could do the "right arm" or the "nose". And I didn't say anything like "why don't you try to fix it yourself" or "you really didn't try that hard" or "practice makes perfect". I just happily did it for him, as best I could. And we would move on from there. Phillip actually spent about an hour after we were both done, making additional changes and improvements, filling in, shading, changing the beard until he had it just the way he wanted. We both had decent looking dwarfs, and had such a wonderful afternoon drawing together.
I really think this is something we will continue doing together, Phillip just seemed to really enjoy it once he knew that he did not have to do it all himself, and that mom was an "OK artist". But this could have turned out so differently had I not set my mind on making this a wonderful experience for the both of us. Had my intention been to make him a "disciplined artist" who would work on something himself until it was "right", we would not have had that joyful afternoon, and I am sure it would not be something he would want to continue.