For some reason, Dad thought it was a good idea to preserve this scribble of an auto rickshaw, which (he says) I drew when I was about eight. Going through some really old folders during a cleaning mission, he digitized all my childhood drawings, and now I have all of them. Yay!
As a kid, I once asked my parents why grown-up artists drew funny-looking, purple people and scratched paint onto their canvases. Dad, a painter, made an unsuccessful attempt at explaining abstraction. Mom, an art historian, talked about different art movements, schools and styles. I was intrigued, though most of it missed my brain by miles.
Children’s art lacks abstraction. There is often little or no effect of light and shade. Technically, children rarely show a sense of perspective and very little display of relative proportion of elements. Promising children will always pick interesting viewpoints, consciously choose what to show and how. Their line-quality is almost always multi-dimensional, their strokes confident. They have reasons for every choice of colour, line and dot. Their drawings are more than a house-tree-sun-cloud ‘scenery.’
After the age of ten or so, children start to mimic the way adults draw. They try to make things look realistic, have grown-up themes, and they over-think. Then the charm evaporates. It’s true for any art. Filters of knowledge and technique do bring in some amount of inhibition and restraint in any creative effort, don’t they?