The Advantages of Painting on Pre-Drawn Art Projects
For many people with dementia, providing structured projects that strike a balance between the relaxation of not having to learn how to draw and the dignity of painting mature appealing, recognizable imagery seems to be the key to an enjoyable painting experience for those with cognitive challenges.
I have come to call this effective approach “spontaneity within structure.” For a person with dementia, staring at a blank piece of paper or canvas with no guidelines or familiar structure can be a daunting experience indeed. This method of providing pre-drawn projects with easily recognizable imagery can allow the spontaneity of colour and brush handling to emerge within an associative and familiar structure.
At first, I doubted this approach, thinking how could painting on pre-drawn patterns foster original and authentic expression? What I discovered was that there is still a vast amount of choice within a pre-drawn project, such as color and its placement. This process invites people to grow creatively and slowly within a comfortable structure in a way that gently encourages success.
Most remarkably, I have noticed that pre-drawn projects seem to invoke a great sense of ease, accomplishment, dignity and self-esteem for those with dementia. I have seen tremendous creativity, enthusiasm and longevity of attention from the artists that I have worked with using this method.
Purchase 65 - 11x17 inch downloadable Painting Patterns (as described in the e-book How to Start an Art Program for the Elderly) for your art program for $25 USD.
Traceable Painting Patterns are suitable for elders with and without dementia.