Today’s episode of Cultivating Grace is sponsored by:
Brush Drawing and the Art of Seeing
Well hello, Cultivating Gracers. This is Dallas Nachtigall from Bestowing the Brush. You can check out my website, bestowingthebrush.com, where I curate a collection of resources for art instruction, audio inspiration through my podcast, and video help through my new YouTube channel.
You might also know me @bestowingthebrush on Instagram. Yep. I’m that art nerd who’s always talking about John Ruskin and Charlotte Mason. I love sharing my enthusiasm for drawing and specifically for families to learn how to draw together.
So by now you might be thinking, “Brush drawing? You mean you want me to give my four year old a wet squirrel hair mop with staining pigment in it, and just see what happens?”
Well that’s one option, but I’ve been practicing this skill with my young children for a while now and I’m here to report to you that the benefits and joys are incalculable, no matter how old you are. Besides the physical benefits, such as fine motor and gross motor dexterity, learning brush drawing will set you and your children up to begin an exploration in the art of seeing.
Drawing from observation, memory, and imagination has been proven to enlarge not only a person’s mental picture gallery and intellectual capacity, but also can improve handwriting, help a person solve problems in a new way, and is excellent for coping with stressors. Drawing is an unique type of rest for our brains that are usually preoccupied with verbal functions like narrating, mathematical calculation, following directions, all that stuff.
Charlotte Mason tells us that the advantage of the homeschool with short lessons is that the teacher can judiciously vary the brain activity from one lesson to the next.
So is brush drawing the missing piece of your dominantly verbal school curricula? Well, I’m here to help. Think of the joy of sitting down to a table to feast, not on food for the body, but instead on food for the soul together, through a joyful time of painting.
Both children and adults get great joy and satisfaction from the pull of the paint across a white piece of paper. The page is your playground when it comes to practicing with a brush. Brush drawing is perfect for the family on a budget too, because the supplies are very minimal and you can find materials within your means. I’ve linked you to many of my favorite supplies for the homeschool through my website’s resource page.
I do have to tell you though, as with all good things, beautiful marks take practice. Always remember that what is of most value to the child is that which he comes by in his own experience and by using his own senses. So mistakes will be had, likely spills and some stains could occur, but that means so much opportunity for growth and improvement, improvement both in skill and character. There is a learning curve, pun intended for sure, but a good friend of mine always says that you ought to try something three times before you give up.
I challenge you. Hop over to my YouTube channel, Bestowing the Brush, where I have a six minute video that will help you get acquainted with brush drawing. I’ve provided the necessary instruction and supply links to give you confidence and equip you in this perhaps new endeavor.
Here’s something to consider. God made your brain to be able to do many things. Whether you think you are artistic or not isn’t the question, but instead the question is, will you let brush drawing be a means of stewardship that you can cultivate with grace in your family?Whether you think you are artistic or not isn't the question, but instead the question is, will you let brush drawing be a means of stewardship that you can cultivate with grace in your family?
Think of developing this skill as one way you can help your student or yourself become more serviceable to others. Have you ever wanted to bless a friend with a handwritten or decorated card? Training in brush drawing makes for ease in making lovely original designs to border a letter to a friend or to decorate a card.
One way we know brush drawing helps us very evidently is that it enables us to capture down our beloved natural objects in a nature notebook. Have you ever seen a flower or a bird and have wanted to remember it forever? Try painting it, and it will be your new lifelong possession to call up into the forefront of your thoughts at any given moment.
Whether you or your student are new to working with art media, or are already comfortable with the study, practicing these skills weekly will amplify your educational endeavors on the whole. But most of all it will be a wonderful means of appreciating God’s creation and can open up even the most unlikely soul to praise and worship by declaring the wondrous works of the Lord.
You see, the beauty of drawing and painting is that it is narration. It’s visual narration; seeing something, processing the information, and saying something about it through marks on a page. And it just so happens that it is a very unique way we share beauty in ways words or numbers can’t describe.
Thinking visually and manipulating a brush with confidence and finesse is a valuable life training that will heighten a student’s ability to comprehend and excel in all other areas they study.
What say you to this art of brush drawing? I say, why don’t you give it three tries? I’ll see you soon.
Click over from the show notes at Everyday Grace’s blog and head over to my website. You’ll find everything you need there. Pretty soon you’ll be putting pigment to paper with ease and joy. Happy drawing!
An Introduction to Brush Drawing
I’m Dallas Nachtigall and I’ve been drawing and creating things since age five. This early curiosity in making art eventually culminated in my studying Visual Arts in college. My specialties are drawing, printmaking and sculpture.
I’ve spent time as the Lead Art Director at 4H camps across the Midwest, have taught various drawing workshops, and have conducted painting service projects with both young and old.
My newest adventure is educating my children at home with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. Continuing my own education lately includes researching my favorite topics, and most recently sharing what I’ve I learned on my podcast and my YouTube channel to share the wealth with others.
I want home school families to find delight and freedom in their drawing and art studies because it is something that I treasure so much in my life.
Find Dallas online: