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How to teach drawing basics to kids - Lines and shapes

Updated on November 17, 2015

Drawing basics - Lines and shapes

Line and shapes are the first elements of drawing that kids need to learn in the beginning. Lines and shapes practice is important as it improves hands movement. Practice is very good for removing stiffness in hands. Stiffness is a big obstacle in drawing in kids. Continuous practice during the first 4-5 classes helps in understanding various kinds of lines and shapes. As we know most of the drawing is based on mere observation and understanding of shapes. Lines helps in learning control on pencil. Kids are often trained in my drawing classes to draw lines and shapes continuously without lifting the pencil.

There are many ways to teach kids how to draw various shapes, i will explain here what shapes are very important for kids to learn and some of the easy ways to teach children learning to draw shapes much better.

Important shapes -

Circles and ovals - The most important of all the shapes are circles and ovals as most of the drawings are based on these. Circles are initially difficult to learn for kids because they hardly make correct circles but they must always be encouraged even if the shapes are not up to the mark. After practicing circles teach them things around us and may be some simple drawings based on circles and ovals like clocks, plates, ball, spoons, egg, simple faces, fruits, flowers and many more.

Squares and rectangles - These are much easier to learn and draw and helps kids to draw them to draw square shape clocks, television, gift boxes, baskets, books and mainly when they start drawing scenes like houses, huts and cars etc these shapes are widely used.

Trapezium and cylindrical - Trapezium the name is slightly difficult for younger kids to remember but it is certainly very important shape for kids to learn. With trapezium they can draw cars, house roof, tables, chairs etc. Cylindrical shapes are helpful to draw pots, pencil holders, glasses etc.

Triangles and cone - Very easy for kids to draw and helps them to draw ice cream cones, pyramids, roofs, birthday caps and textures.

Diamond and heart shape - These shapes are rarely used but helps kids to draw an apple, strawberries, heart shape designs, kites, and textures.

Clouds and star shape - Clouds shapes are also very important just as trapezium as this helps a lot while drawing nature scenes specially clouds and trees, bushes, umbrellas. Stars are anyway kids favourite but little difficult to get it right in the beginning and are used for decoration or on greeting cards or for night drawing scenes.

Semicircles and eye shape - These are very easy to draw and many things like fruits, moon, leaf, eyes, umbrellas, fishes and faces can be drawn with the use of these shapes.

Ways to teach kids how to practice shapes -

1. Give ready worksheets to kids to complete. Suppose you start with circle then provide worksheets which has lines of different width and few circles of each size already drawn. Now ask kids to complete such worksheets.

2. Draw half part of each shape and ask them to complete the shape. Same way you can also give few drawings like clocks etc half drawn and rest they will complete. This way they also learn symmetry.

3. Provide worksheets with just the center small circle drawn and ask kids to make circles around this of different sizes.

4. Provide them worksheets where they need to complete the scenes only with the help of shapes like draw a pot with flowers and for this just draw the pot, flowers stems and ask them to draw flowers on top of stems with the use of circular shape.

Importance of lines and ways to teach lines to kids

Lines - The first two images clearly shows how you can help kids learn types of lines. Such practice worksheets i make almost daily for my students, these are must for the beginners and younger kids.

Daily practice worksheets must be given to kids to complete.

Let them do it again and again till you see they are able to do freehand.

I usually make 4-6 boxes in a sheet of paper and draw few lines and for the rest i ask my students to complete.

For long and short lines plan full page worksheets. Let them practice these regularly and introduce different types of lines to them. They can also be asked to draw short and long lines without lifting pencil.

They can also be asked to draw few textures with the use of lines, also you can try making worksheets where kids can mix different types of lines in one.

Standing line, sleeping lines, slanting, wavy, U shape, zig zag, criss cross, dotted lines, rainy, curvy, blocks type C shape or inverted C shape or anything that you can think of just add in your curriculum.

These are few interesting ways to teach various lines and shapes to kids, they generally love to draw and they learn it better if taught in fun and interesting ways. If you give them empty white sheets of paper they will hesitate to make and they go blank at times but if they have a task to complete they find it interesting. To create better future artist their foundation has to be strong.

Read my other hubpages on similar drawing topics,

25 how to draw instructions for kids using alphabets,

Imagine how we can make a simple doll with the help of letter 'A', or a rainbow with the use of letters 'B' and 'C' and so on.Kids can learn how to draw with the help of letters much faster. Kids at a very young age learn to recognize English alphabets through charts or through toys or being taught at playschools.

How to start teaching drawing to kids,

Learn how to draw techniques for kids - Teaching drawing to little children is easy if proper ways are applied, as up to the age of seven they are super learners and this is the best time to teach them how to draw. Some important things we all must do is make them feel free to draw whatever they want specially at the initial stage and make it interesting so that they don't feel bore.

How to start art and craft classes for kids,

Art and craft training classes for kids is small but a profitable business to begin with specially for ambitious housewives. Very good and lucrative home based business opportunity. I myself entered into this field because i wanted to give enough time to my child and was not ready to put him into boarding school. I quit my job and started my own art and craft classes,


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    • Anupam Mitu profile image

      Anupam Mitu 

      4 months ago from MUMBAI

      Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      Vivekanand .R 

      17 months ago

      Thank you so much to share the techniques that we can upply on drawing class. your article was very help full. and I want more help from you. according to the level wise how to teach the art like level 1 to till level 9

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      Thank you for sharing awesome's very helpful.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thank you very much..

      Clear and amazing..

    • profile image


      4 years ago


      your article is very nice. i've not seen anyone so clear about the basics especially when it comes to teach the kids.

      can I have pdf orword file for these lines drawings, so that i can start with my kid with the basics of drawing.


    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Loved your techniques. Thanks for sharing.


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