What is it about children and animals? For several years I have had the good fortune to accompany groups of children to places such as Gorgie City Farm, Edinburgh Zoo, Chambers Stret Museum and Deep Sea World. There I have endeavoured to guide them in drawing the various creatures on display. This is of course much easier at the museum where the beasts are stuffed and therefore static; but actually not as difficult as you might think at the other locations where the animals are active and moving. Here the children quickly get into the habit of watching their subjects and will often begin several different versions of them and add more and more details as they see and understand what's needed to complete the drawing. The most recent course on 'Animal Masks' began with drawing at the museum and then continued with the building of papier mache masks in the studio over the next two days. The next children's art course will be the Summer Art School in July, entitled 'ZOOMANIA!'. This will involve 2 days drawing at the zoo, a morning at the museum and the rest of the time ion the studio in Dalry painting from sketches, printmaking, sculpting with recycled materials and book binding from the first days' sketches. See Summer Art School for more information
Damian Callan is a practising figurative artist and tutor based in Edinburgh.