Tagged portraits

Toddler Art (Toddler Lessons: Part Three)

256px-Claude_Monet,_Impression,_soleil_levant Part Three of my series in Toddler Lessons is Toddler Art.

 
Toddlers love art, and they have a surprisingly sophisticated grasp on a wide range of artistic styles and techniques. Here are ten, as demonstrated by toddler artists.

 
1. Abstract Art

(Art that is not representative of reality or recognisable images.)

 
Abstract art is the primary style of the toddler artist. That yellow squiggle represents ‘Mummy, a mermaid and my sandwich’, mostly because toddler artists feel compelled to give an answer when asked what their squiggle is a picture of. Toddlers actually take the concept of abstraction beyond the confines of art, and can often be seen applying it as a general approach to life, sometimes spending entire days at a time engaging in activities with no connection to reality.

 
2. Baroque

(An artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear detail to create grandeur, drama and tension.)

 
Toddlers usually work in the Baroque style when creating art on walls and furniture, using exaggerated motion and clear, grandiose scribbles to effectively create drama and tension when the masterpiece is discovered by a parent.

 
3. Composition

(The placement or arrangement of visual elements in a work of art.)

 
Toddler artists can be identified by their unique take on composition. Toddlers like to arrange all visual elements in their artwork on top of each other in a tiny space, not quite on the corner of the paper, leaving the rest of the page blank.

 
4. Surrealism

(Works feature an element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequiturs.)

 
Surrealism features very heavily in toddler artwork. Particularly when the artwork appears on the cat.

 
5. Colour Theory

(Guidance to colour mixing and the visual effects of a specific colour combination.)

 
In toddler art, colour theory is the belief that the visual effect of any piece of art can be substantially improved by the specific colour combination of liberally adding black over the top of everything else.

 
6. Portrait Painting

(Paintings intended to depict a human subject.)

 
Toddler portrait paintings are slightly different, being intended not so much to depict a human subject as to appear on a human subject.

 
7. Impressionism

(Focus on the impression created by the overall visual effects, instead of details.)

 
For toddlers, an impressionist work is a beautiful and intricate piece of art etched into the dining room table whilst the toddler was giving the impression of drawing on their paper.

 
8. Minimalism

(A style using pared-down design elements.)

 
Toddlers are minimalist geniuses, so much so that they can turn any piece of artwork into a minimalist masterpiece. A picture of a cat and some flowers, carefully drawn by Mummy for the toddler to colour in, for example, can be transformed into a minimalist study in blue, by the simple application of heavy and indiscriminate scribbling in blue crayon across the whole page. Such is a toddler’s commitment to minimalism that entire weeks can be spent agreeing to colour only in orange. The ultimate toddler exercise in minimalism is, of course, the careful colouring of a white sheet of paper in white crayon.

 
9. Expressionism

(Representation of the world from a subjective perspective, distorting it for emotional effect to evoke moods or ideas.)

 
Toddlers sometimes like to use expressionism to colour on baby siblings, representing the subjective perspective that it is highly amusing to colour on baby siblings, and evoking moods of annoyance (parents) and confusion (baby sibling), and the idea that all pens should be removed from the house.

 
10. Conceptual Art

(The idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work, over and above traditional aesthetic concerns. Conceptual art is said to question the nature of art.)

 
Like Tracey Emin’s work, much toddler art work leads firstly to confused whispering. ‘Is this art?’ ‘What is this meant to be?’ Followed by ultimately fruitless questioning of the artist, which leaves no one any the wiser. As conceptual art, toddler art is quite brilliant: the nature of art can consider itself questioned.

 
 

(Please Note: As always, no educational value should be inferred in the contents of this post. I don’t know a Monet from a Manet. Mind you, no one knows Monet from Manet, do they?)

 
 

You can see other posts in my Toddler Lessons series here.