Free Resource for Teachers: Stimulating the Artistic Sensibilities of Children

St-Michael-and-Holy-FamilyColouring pages from the Sophia Institute Press website. There are two styles: iconographic and 13th century English gothic from the School of St Albans. I am often asked by parents and teachers of young children how we can develop their artistic sensibilities. I always suggest that part of it is exposing the to traditional styles of art as early as possible. Unless you have ready access to big city art galleries, or are able to own your own originals, which most don't, the most simple way is for them to see good reproductions. The task then is to make them interesting. So any book that I buy for my little daughter, I try as far as possible not only to buy books with beautiful illustrations, but also those done in traditional styles. Clearly you can't get obsessive about this...I just do it where I can.

The next step, when they are able to take is copying them. The easiest way to begin is by getting line drawings based on tradition works that you can photocopy and then enourage them first to colour in, and second to copy the lines. This can be the basis of beginner art classes and if the images are of sacred art, there is always a good lesson in faith than can be incorporated too. unnamedThe new book, The Little Oratory: The Beginner's Guide to Family Prayer contains lots of icons in colour, which can be removed and used to create an icon corner; and also every chapter opens with a facing page that is a line drawing of an icon and pertains to the chapter in question. The intention was that, as well as elucidating the points discussed in the chapter, that leads to greater understand of both text and image,  this could be photocopied and used as a teaching resource for children.

Now Sophia Institute Press have made it even easier and have provided a colouring page on their website, here,  in which these images can be downloaded for free. This means that you can print them off on ordinary print paper, photocopy and give your children or class.

By developing the very first skills of colouring and drawing by copying these images, right from the start the child is learning skill in conformity to the work of another. This engenders a humility that will lead in the long run to a stimulation of the creative imagination and an openness to inspiration (should God choose to provide it). It is consistent with the methods that have always been used to teach art traditionally - where the artist is taught the skill through the study of nature and the works of great Masters.


As well as getting the complete set in the book, you can also buy individual larger high quality giclee prints of the colour plates in the book including St Michael above in the book at my online gallery here.