How to Draw - Easy Lessons
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that How to Draw - Easy Lessons gives kids drawing demonstrations that can be traced over plus a blank canvas for creating from scratch. The Android versions of the app come with about 60 drawings; the iOS app comes with around 70, and more can be purchased. The images include a gun, a tank, and a short-skirted lady alongside a rabbit, Manga characters, Justin Bieber, and more, without much ethnic diversity and few female or kid images.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
- applying information
- producing new content
- combining knowledge
- academic development
- multiple forms of expression
Health & Fitness
- fine motor skills
Engagement, Approach, Support
The sketching is high-quality, and overall the design is simple and clean. Some of the images -- like Justin Bieber, Rapunzel, and Spider-Man -- should appeal to kids.
Terminology and concept definitions are lacking. Kids learn about sketching versus inking, but they can't practice with this app.
In the Android version, there's no help to explain the confusing mode names, and the "clear" function doesn't work. However, the iOS version performs better in these areas.
What's it about?
The main menu offers a vertical list of drawings displaying the number of steps (and difficulty for some in the Android versions). Each drawing has a menu for selecting colors, brush size, erase mode, a clear function (that doesn't always work well), and a save button that overwrites a single file for each drawing that's saved in device files. In the Android app, three work modes give flexibility: A+B=steps and drawing, A=blank canvas for drawing, B=steps only. The iOS app has similar modes that are executed more intuitively.
Is it any good?
In HOW TO DRAW - EASY LESSONS, kids can see sketching, inking, and coloring steps, and, in one mode, kids can trace right over the top of each step and color in at the end. This ability would be great if the lines were a bit smoother, or control was a bit finer (using a stylus may help). On the Android app, kids can't see the steps or images in A mode (really a blank canvas) so they have to recreate them from memory. The iOS app handles this better; you can pop out a window with the steps while you draw on the blank canvas.
The people in the Android version don't reflect any ethnic diversity; the iOS version includes Barack Obama in an upgrade pack, but no obvious diversity beyond that. Neither version is particularly kind to females: There aren't many, and the ones that are there tend to be fairies, princesses, or sexy images (the "lady's face" drawings excepted). And the "Famous People" pack for iOS includes no women at all. There also aren't many images of kids. Though How to Draw - Easy Lessons is a decent attempt, it's not very polished, and after a bit of struggling, your kids might just happily revert to pencil and paper.
Families can talk about...
Provide your kids an easily accessible variety of art materials plus a place to work.
Check out "how to draw" books from the library.
Together, view some of the excellent drawing tutorials on YouTube.