Drawing competitions for children can be simple projects which focus on the pleasure of being creative and letting imaginations fly, but they can also be really effective ways of drawing a child’s attention to other aspects of life and other events that are happening in the world, both past and present. The most important thing is to make the focus of the competition clear, to lay out some very specific “winning criteria” guidelines before the project starts and then to avoid putting too many restrictions on the children in terms of what they choose to produce.
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Festivals and awareness weeks
Drawing competitions provide an excellent introduction to world, national or local festivals, projects and news. Children can be encouraged to enter their drawings into a competition which is based on the ideas of World Environment Day, which takes places annually in June. If there is a local festival being organised in your city or town, incorporate the children into the festival by basing the drawing competition on the principles or history of that festival. Prizes can be awarded to those children who best capture the essence of the festival in question through their drawings.
Family and social relationships
Drawing competitions can be used as a way of getting children to share their understanding of family and to share fears or concerns that they might have about different social situations. One child’s depiction of the school playground might be very different to that of another and, although prizes can be awarded for artistic talent, the ideas which shine through from their drawings can be really useful to teachers and parents to help children deal with their emotions and positively strengthen their personal relationships with others.
Technique and training
For children between the ages of 14 and 18, a real emphasis on drawing technique and training can be really positive and engaging. Children at this age will be beginning to think about what kind of direction they want their lives to go in and if they possess any kind of artistic talent, the excitement and pressure of a drawing competition which is heavily focused on technical skills can be just the kind of challenge needed to unleash a budding talent. Drawing competitions can form a kind of climax at the end of a short project which focuses on a particular drawing style or a certain famous artist. The children could study, learn about and practice drawing in the style of Roald Dahl book illustrations (Quentin Blake) for a number of weeks and then present a drawing of a fictional character in the style of Dahl at the end of the course, for example.
There is a wide range of drawing competitions which children, across a range of age groups, can enter either in the UK or abroad. When the drawing competition is national or international and when the children are competing against other children whom they have never met, the stakes are higher and the entire process can be incredibly exciting. Large drawing competitions are also a great way for parents and teachers to further support children interested in sending of their art work. The extended support offered and received in these moments can be very rewarding in many ways for all parties involved. The Doodle 4 Google Competition is just one example of many.
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