Lord Baden-Powell on Drawing

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137. The child in naturally inclined to self-expression by drawing – of sorts; very much of sorts which we look at it with the eye trained to academic rules of drawing.  It is this academic view that makes us interfere with the sensitive self-development and causes it to curl up int its shell abashed – never to emerge again in nine cases out of ten.  We want really to encourage the natural talent to develop itself by a kindly interest in it, not b the treading on it with traditional instruction.  We encourage the spirit as the first step and let the technical skill follow later.

138. Everybody can draw if he only tries; it does not need learning.  There was a time in his life when the finest artist in the world could not draw any better than any other small boy.  Don’t expect to be an artist all at once – you are bound to do it fairly badly at first; but stick to it and you will do better as you go along.  It is not a matter of school learning.

139. By encouraging drawing, however crude, on the part of the youngster, he can be led on to recognize beauty in colour or in form, to realize that even in sordid surroundings there may yet be light and shadow, colour and beauty.


Baden-Powell of Gilwell, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell – Mario Sica – Nuova Fiordaliso – 2002

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