Right brain, left brain, Mickey Mouse and Mike

Our “family nights” around the everyday house the past few months have involved watching Christmas movies, playing games together or watching all of the episodes of Little House on the Prairie in chronological order.

But the past few evenings, we’ve been taking a break from all of that to have “Family Drawing Night”.
I bought these cool books for my boys for Christmas. But once again, it looks like I might have actually purchased them for myself and only used the excuse they were for my boys. Anyway.

The books give step-by-step instructions on how to draw Disney characters and superheros. The instructions always start by asking the artist to draw simple shapes and a couple of lines to create a “grid” for the rest of the drawing.

From there, the artist fills in the details and finally colors her completed picture.

This type of drawing is perfect for me. I am a left-brainer. I love lists, details and following directions. I am creative, but I’m not the kind of person who can pull an image out of my mind and draw it on paper.
My oldest son is probably the most artistic person in our family. He is a right-brained learner. He can see the big picture. In fact, he thinks in pictures. He can visualize what he wants to draw and transfer it from his head to a piece of paper. This type of creativity amazes me.
On the other hand, lists and data trip him up. Spelling words. Math facts. Phonics rules. Those are hard for him. So, we are learning to translate some of the mundane lists that come with learning into pictures that appeal to his right brain. (More about that later. Back to Mickey Mouse.)
Our nightly drawing parties have been therapy for me to help relieve my January funk. It feels so good to unleash a little creativity. (I even secretly start plotting early in the day which character I want to try next.)

I love following the process, one step at a time and then looking at the whole picture to see I have actually drawn something!

The process has been a bit more frustrating for my son. He usually attempts one picture from the book each night, but then declares, “It’s time for free draw now!”
But he’s been impressed with his mom and her hidden talent.
“HOW did you learn to do that, mom?!?”
I’m just good at following directions.
How about you? Are you more of a right-brained learner, or a left brainer? What does your family do for fun together?


  1. What a fun family activity. I love how you are encouraging your kids to find their talent and develop it. My son is also very artistic. When he was about three, he was drawing a picture. He sat back and looked at it and said, "I think I'm gonna be an artister!" Now he is a senior in high school and is in AP Art. It's been fun to help him find that talent over the years and develop it.

  2. Emily, you are all kinds of creative! I am definitely a left brainer. I want people to tell me how to start running! (I believe it's one foot in front of the other, maybe.) Maybe I'm a no-brainer. I just don't even want to think about some stuff!:) Lynn

  3. Thanks, Lynn!No-brainer… that's funny! You are just super laid back, which is a great quality! That's why you have so many friends! You are easy-going and fun-loving and you don't worry about which side of your brain to use like SOME people! haha.

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