Monday, January 21, 2019

A Baby Who Draws and a Horse Who Paints


In this video a baby appears to draw cartoon animals. Link to YouTube.

In my household I'm in the minority in believing this video is real. My wife and son think the video is fake, and that it's an animatronic hand with a baby propped up just watching the animatronic hand draw.

I disagree. I believe it's real. She has an unusual pen grip, but she makes micro movements with it, and she seems focused and deliberate, checking new shapes against the shapes she made on the other drawings. For a moment she's distracted by an onscreen noise and she pauses the drawing before refocusing. There's no way you could design an animatronic that sophisticated.

Most kids don't draw this well until they're five or six, but this kid appears to be two. It's hard to tell for sure. If you had a four year old who was precocious at drawing, and you dressed them up to look a few years younger, you could make people think she was just a toddler. What do you think?



This video tells the story of a horse who paints with the help of his owner / trainer. The horse was an injured race horse who was rescued.

He learned to hold a brush between his lips and make abstract marks. The sales of the paintings funded the horse's medical care and gave meaning to the man who cared for him. Link on YouTube

The video is beautifully produced on every level, well shot, with good audio and thoughtful editing. It gives us a window into the stories not only of the horse but also of the people around the horse.

15 comments:

A Colonel of Truth said...

Fake! Never mind the drawing (right) hand, note the left hand. It looks fake and that a 2-years old keeps it that motionless? I don’t think so.

A Colonel of Truth said...

The horse and owner are in Gettysburg? Rename the horse Metro “Stonewall” Meteor. Sign tge paintings “Stonewall.” Make millions!

Pekka said...

The left hand looks quite natural when the kid changes their weight/position at around 0.15. Looks like the kid leans on it, which would easily keep the hand motionless.

Pierre Fontaine said...

I certainly believe the first video is real. The pauses appear to be too natural...her hand stops drawing when she looks away or readjusts her position. I do wonder if the baby has "learned" to draw like this or was "trained" to draw like this, the first being a natural expression of her imagination, the other being just rote movements that she learned over time.

The Painter of Parks said...

Mimic. The abstraction of the cat form. These are symbols that signify understanding. Notice you don't see her make the first drawing. Likely mom or dad did the first. She just copied the the symbol lines. That is why you see her look back to reference the previous drawings.

Fred C. said...

I want to believe this is true but the level of proficiency been shown is kind of unbelievable for someone who looks less than three years old. Fine motor skills take time to develop and I just don't believe someone that young would have them.

Jim Williams said...

The drawings have a particular style and are very neat which is not what you would expect from a child at that age. Is she copying? We need more corroborating material. Fifty seven seconds of video is not enough evidence to make a case.

thom petersen said...

I am with you James ... I believe this child is a gifted child, who may be acquiring a talent here by observing what has been drawn. But at this age, it is remarkable to do even that! ... Thanks for all your posts James ... they help make my day!

Annie C Curtis said...

I think the child is doing the drawing, but the bit where the pen goes off the side of the page, and then the child adjusts the back leg to be narrower to fit on the page? Very unlikely for a 5-y-o much less a 2-y-o. It's interesting that the drawing is mirror image.
Metro - great, they were able to fund his medical bills by selling his paintings. If people wish to buy them and put them on their walls, that's up to them.

Jim Douglas said...

Looks real to me, and I have a 3-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter.

John Nelson said...

Looks real. Most likely explanation is that the child is not as young as he/she appears. Definitely not a "baby". Probably 4 or 5 at least. Copying a simple drawing (with the practice time that we don't see) at that age is very believable.

John Nelson said...

Plus, assuming this is China(?). Young children start to rigorously learn (by copying) to make the thousands of characters that comprise their written language. Ambitious parents probably get them started as soon as they can hold a pen.

EB Snook said...

It is possible. Mom had a red and black crayon drawing of a recognizable ladybug I did at 3. Most of what I did was not so recognizable. I was just playing, and wasn't coached. This girl is taking her work more seriously. She is practicing an image. She has probably done pages of this image, and is using a distinct method, and a pattern. To me, this is more craft than art - not to belittle it. It is interesting to me that her model's tail is on the left, but she puts it on the right both times.

Philip said...

1. The child is older than appears
2. The child has been trained/or hothoused to learn by endless repetition the one cartoon until she draws it automatically. There is no emotion, no imagination, no creativity.... No art!

The child is skilled, but am not sure there is a any hidden potential there.

João said...

Thank you, James for this post. Metro's story is specially touching to me. My daddy was a racehorse trainer and I spent all of my childhood with horses- and everything else that goes along horse racing. Sadly, men are too caught up by the noise and are quick to pigeonhole art or painting as some sort of fetish. Everybody and everything, in my humble opinion, has the potential of creative expression in this world, including the toddler and the horse presented in those stories. Once again thanks for this and the chance of learning about Metro and his family.