Throwback to My Childhood Paintings

147 Shares

I found some of my childhood paintings the other day. They were stored away in a dusty corner of my parents' garage. I figured you might like to see them. They aren’t masterpieces, but they are invaluable to me as they represent the start of my lifelong journey at the easel.

I always find it interesting to see an artist's early work. Especially the early work of the top masters. It makes you realize that we all start as beginners.

Although these were painted some 20 years ago, I remember painting each of them quite clearly. They have this almost timeless quality to me.

With this moody seascape, I was experimenting with ideas of drama and emotion. This was my first attempt at Impressionism before I knew it was a thing.

Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (2)

This fish painting was from my final year of high school. I was leaning into a more realistic style. I remember trying to mimic Australian artist, Ken Wenzel. One of his paintings hangs in my parents' living room and it always captivated me.

Notice how the water is unfinished. My main problem back then was timid painting. I often took the safe route and stopped before truly finishing.

Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (16)

Here are the rest of my childhood paintings, or at least the ones that I found good enough to warrant a photo:

Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (1)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (3)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (7)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (5)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (6)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (8)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (9)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (10)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (11)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (12)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (13)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (14)
Dan Scott, Childhood Painting (15)

If you still have your early works, hang onto them. They might prove to be your most invaluable works one day.

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it! Feel free to share with friends. If you ever want to learn more, I invite you to join DPA Inner Circle.

Happy painting!

Signature Draw Paint Academy

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

137 thoughts on “Throwback to My Childhood Paintings”

  1. These are extraordinary! Painting like that when you were a child is exceptional. You should rightly be very proud and hang onto them. Thankyou for sharing them.

    Reply
    • Hi Manya,
      I couldn’t see how to comment, so thanks for the opportunity to do so here.

      Thanks Dan. I love the last several paintings from the grey mountains reflected in the lake.
      I’m assuming they were the more mature ones.

      I discovered I could draw/paint when preparing a picture for a story to tell the kiddies at playcentre kiddies in my forties.
      I had that little painting on the wall till it got badly smoke damaged in a house fire 22years ago, but it’s still in my head… An adult first attempt. I’m proud of some from my exam folder as an adult student, years later, and have some of them on my walls now.

      Reply
  2. Me encantaron, siendo de principiante. Mantuviste el mismo estilo y colorido.
    Felicitaciones,gracias por mostrarlas.

    Reply
    • Fabulous, haven’t painted for about 5 years now but people like yourself are slowly giving me the urge to put brush to paper.Thank you sincerely

      Reply
  3. Awesome paintings! They should be hung up for all to see, not tucked away. Each tells its own story and draws the viewer into wonderful imaginings! Inspiring for beginners like me.

    Reply
  4. They are so good for me!!! You have a good production…..We can see the Master on you allready! I admire you in each lesson you post, from Portugal!

    Reply
  5. Dan,
    Thanks for sharing your early paintings. So good they were saved. What a variety of scenes! Except for tole painting from books, I have only painted with teachers, but memories come back with the viewing. Today while getting my garage cleared of items I may retrieve a painted hand saw. It slid from the top of an upright freezer down into the cooling coils. The tight space made it impossible for me to remove it. Freezer empty and another pair of hands and finally retrival will be possible

    Reply
  6. Thank you so much for sharing these pictures. Already they showed your talent even though they may not have had the finesse yours now have. This encourages me that each step I take in painting will move me forward to making my paintings better.

    Reply
  7. Thank you so much for sharing these pictures. Already they showed your talent even though they may not have had the finesse yours now have. This encourages me that each step I take in painting will move me forward to making my paintings better. Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Hallo Sir
    I saw these paintings rathar I can say look at it each painting minutely ,Really wonderful art. It gave me the inspiration to think deep basically on Colour Thema .I am a beginner offcourse hence get scared or confused if I should add some more detailing (If Icontinue may be I will mess up the whole painting ) ,that is why the paintings seems something or many things lacking.Can ypu please expalin or publish some tips how to judge if your painting is complete .

    Reply
  9. These are an incredible body of work! Anybody could feel pleased with at any age. You demonstrate considerable skill and observational prowess. They really are impressive.

    Reply
  10. These are an incredible body of work! Anybody could feel pleased with at any age. You demonstrate considerable skill and observational prowess. They really are impressive.

    Reply
  11. wonderful evocative paintings
    better than mine Great composition i note is powerful in all with excellent innate perspectivde
    diverse
    how did you just know that perspective 3d that you get as such a youngster

    Reply
  12. So wonderful, that they renderings were saved. They are priceless.
    Some good ones, with the proper perspective! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  13. Really you have been an artist in your childhood.I amm sure you did not have the teacher that I have when I was ten,I make a big work with purple trees and mountains and she laugh in the middle of the class, and said that I have to go down and come back to the real world if I want to survive this life.I never go back to colors, I start to paint again when I was 58 years and I love it and cannot stop and people say that I am a very good artist in oil and charcoal.Maybe I will paint now a very big work in purple .

    Reply
    • Absolutely Dorit, You must! Purple all the way, let that little painter out to play with all love and encouragement and no more horrible judgement.

      Reply
  14. Thank you for sharing your early works. They are masterpieces in my eyes, produced by a young person. I am 84 and not willing to give up this hobby. Painting is a life-source for me. God bless you.

    Reply
  15. These are so much more than just paintings…They make me smile, They tell me that you had a fun youth, they tell me you knew you who you were at a young age and that you had a purpose in life. These are Masterpieces and I would have to find an area to display them if not just from myself. They are memories that makes the heart smile.

    Reply
  16. Thanks for sharing these pieces of art. They are a hint as to what you have become. They are really good and I am glad you showed these. Some of my art is so elementary I started to throw it out, but now I am glad I didn’t. One day maybe my family will look at them and say “she wasn’t so bad”. 🙂

    Reply
  17. Wow! These show amazing talent even at a young age. You were choosing quite complex subjects like reflections very early. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  18. I LOVE the fish painting! it has lots of ‘movement’….you caught the moment as the fish (reminds me of the salmon as they battle the current upriver to spawn)….it was nature and the the fish in its tandem struggle for survival!….although the shore is in a straight line….which means level ground. I love the way the sky sort of mirror the water. It has almost the feel of a Japanese wood block print from the 1800’s…

    Reply
  19. Looking at those paintings made me realize how much we grow. Yours taught me a lot. !st to open myself up to the use of strong colors, 2nd to be brave enough to follow through, and I believe that is what art is all about.
    I really enjoyed them.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  20. Looking at those paintings made me realize how much we grow. Yours taught me a lot. !st to open myself up to the use of strong colors, 2nd to be brave enough to follow through, and I believe that is what art is all about.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  21. Thanks for sharing your priceless childhood paintings.They are beautiful and your basic style of mixing different hues doesn’t seem to change much.
    You are lucky your parents have preserved your paintings.keep sharing your good work you are so inspiring…

    Reply
  22. Love seeing the progression. It’s nice you have saved these to review, cherish and see how your style may have changed or been fine tuned. My favorites are your reflection paintings. Thank you so much for sharing these with us! 🌸

    Reply
  23. What I really love here, and what I believe shows your true talent, is that you were challenging yourself with the problems of shading on rocks, underwater reflections, aerial perspective and the effects of fog and water spray – all difficult concepts to master and that simply escape the notice of lesser talents. Well done. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  24. This work proves only one thing: you are an artistic! I have an idea: maybe you should buy your daughter her new set of paint and brushes for her first birthday. I bet she’s not too young to start playing with colors.

    Reply
  25. Hi Dan, I appreciate your emails, they are always interesting. Your childhood paintings show a lot of promise, and an intense interest in art and painting.

    Reply
  26. Beautiful paintings , what great keepsakes and fond memories. I love the way you took on some of the difficult challenges.

    Reply
  27. I would be proud to be able to paint like that now! You have so much talent that is clearly seen even at a young age! Thank you for sharing them!

    Reply
  28. Wow! You made my day! You are a talented person and I appreciate your sharing with us. Your fish…..made me smile. Well done, sir!

    Reply
  29. Shows your love of painting early on. Good paintings. You certainly have progressed in color, value, and especially painterliness. You have learned how to put lots of paint on, which I love!

    Reply
  30. Looks like one of your early paintings is of the same locale as “New Zealand Reflections, 2019” where you taught us about mist rising off the water. I find myself going back to the same places time after time – they have a magic that draws you in. Perhaps the same for you?

    Reply
  31. Great to see your early work. We are moving house and our youngest is off to Uni. We found some of his early pictures in the attic. He wanted us to bin them… I don’t think so. He might be into engineering and computers now but I suspect like me, he will rediscover his artistic talent later in life.

    Reply
  32. Fascinating to explore your paintings. Thank you for sharing. I have none of my early paintings, and from time to time have regretted that. Even now, if the painting doesn’t work for me, I am more prone to sandpaper, re-gesso (provided there is no canvas damage :-)) and start again. Well done Dan. Love your work.

    Reply
  33. Dan:
    I recently tossed into a dumpster all my work from the past year.
    I have also taken a knife to some of them.
    Thanks for posting your work from childhood- so glad you kept them.
    It does seem that was an act of humility and to share that if you keep at it, improving will happen- even though art- at any stage – is a gift from Creator- to be able to express our joy and delight in His Beautiful World.
    It’s a activity that spurns spiritual growth- like my having to deal with idealism vs. reality.
    Shalom

    Reply
  34. Wow, man, what a beautiful set of early paintings!
    You definitely had an artistic talent when young.
    I wish we would have had art as a subject at school and learned to paint amongst other things.
    I kept my first 2 efforts, the 3d is hanging o the wall.
    After that I dived into the deep end, teaching myself how to ‘swim’ and won a shared first prize after 8 months of painting and a solo exhibition of 23 paintings within 1 1/2 years!
    I couldn’t believe it, I was totally ignorant of anything in the art world, didn’t know a thing about values, brush strokes etc.
    I was almost 70 when I started ( now 73) and feel I missed out on so many opportunities.
    But good news: I can follow artists like Dan and learn from many others.
    Keep up the good work Dan, you give me invaluable insight into the art world!
    Let’s tell our older, maybe retired friends to give painting a go, you never know if you have a latent talent and it’s never too late!

    Reply
    • Trudy – you’ve encouraged me, especially as I only started painting 7 months ago – and am 91 years old. I too discovered Dan’s articles and was so encouraged to take the plunge – and am having a ball. My new motto? “Who cares?” as in ‘if I’m enjoying myself even though I don’t know the rules’……..
      I love Dan’s art – and noticed that these early paintings were landscapes which included water, and realized all 10 of mine did too.😂

      Reply
      • It is so funny to hear so many people say that they cannot or would not paint. Then they happen to do an art course or someone gave them paint and they found out they too could with just a little encouragement. I belong to an art group and one of the members had never painted. She has taken a few ribbons at our local group shows.

        Reply
    • Truly,
      I loved what you wrote about painting in retirement. I’m doing just that, playing, enjoying it as a hobby. I don’t know the rules and I don’t always see things correctly. But I love trying. We’re so lucky to have great help from Dan online and at our fingertips! We now know he was talented even as a child. Love his colors!
      Happy painting,
      Joan

      Reply
  35. Bravo! Your painting were very, very good way back then – glad you hung on to them. It shows that you had an early grasp of light and shadow and that there was no where to go other than onwards and upwards. Thanks for sharing your excellent paintings!

    Reply
  36. Your paintings are great. Sadly my earlier paintings are not anywhere near this good or the ones I have done recently better but not great. The bass picture looks like a photo it looks so good.

    Reply
  37. October 11th, 2021
    Really nice, Dan. Thank -you for sharing. You are always an inspiration to me.
    I love the way your landscapes reach out! I feel like I am right in the middle of them. I love the way they leap out.

    Reply
  38. As you noted that you saved most of your early work. I have done the same. I go through them and sometimes think I will paint that one again and see what I can do to improve it. I painted as a 8 or 9 year old and my mother saved them for several years before they began to deteriorate. I wish I had them as well because at 81 I am interested in what I did then and if I improved. Also, I did not go back to painting until I was about 71, ten years ago.

    Reply
  39. I loved seeing your early work, thank you for sharing your art. I appreciate all the tips and personal
    lessons you give out .

    Reply
  40. wonderful Dan, love the “unfinished’ fish one so much. he shines in the abstract surroundings. I only came to painting later in life but I have drawn all my life. Have recovered only two drawings, both from my 11 year old self and found it amusing to see my efforts and inspiring to see how fearless and confident I was at my work. Want that back – yours have inspired me to put them up somewhere now. as usual Dan – got a lot from your post.

    Reply
  41. Amazing paintings, The shading, sunsets, rocks, hills, and sky. Many of the paintings look like the original pioneering artists who first came to the country. Thank You for inspiring me.

    Reply
    • They are very nice paintings, all of them for different reasons. It would have been nice if you would have put an approximate age you were when you paonted them and where and why. It would have added to the insight! 😊

      Reply
  42. Thanks Dan for showing us your early paintings. I love the fish. And how wonderful that as a child you were so observant of nature and had such a sense of perspective. Your work, even when young, never seems tight or laboured. It must be the enjoyment.

    Reply
  43. They are very nice paintings, all of them for different reasons. It would have been nice if you would have put an approximate age you were when you paonted them and where and why. It would have added to the insight! 😊

    Reply
  44. So interesting to reflect on your own journey into art.
    “You are an artist” was an inspirational book which I still have.
    I always knew I could draw well, and “discovered “ colour at age 16 through a library book.
    Then bought some watercolours and later attended art lessons at tech in the evenings.
    I still treasure my first acrylic on board painting (very Van Gogh inspired) and remember the wonder I felt using a stretched canvas for the first time. All plein air painting too!
    Now I’m 72 and love, love, love painting. Still challenging and always learning.
    Thanks, Dan, for bringing back those memories.

    Reply
  45. I loved seeing your childhood paintings. I, too, loved art from an early age and was good enough to win several art contests in middle and high school. If I may say this to others, if you have young children, I hope you will encourage them and treasure their early pieces of artwork. Unfortunately for me, my mother had issues with my early artwork and threw them all out during a move my family made. When I found out (after they were gone) I was devastated. Seeing Dan’s early artwork brought it all back to mind. Please don’t do this to your children… or to yourself.

    Reply
  46. You continue to inspire, even in your early works. Thank you. I have found the only piece I did as a child but need to frame it so it can be a reminder that I can continue to improve each time I try a new technique. Love your work.

    Reply
  47. Thanks Dan for opening yourself up to we who follow you. You must have the correct mentality for doing this. Your skill looked quite advanced to me at that age. What made you want to paint in those formative years?

    Reply
  48. You were painting on canvas in most of these if not all. Your parents must have decided early on you were an artist and supported your desire to paint by supplying stretched canvas. Yikes. I gave my kids scrap paper I got at a printers. We had one piece of art in my childhood home. Guess that was not as inspiring as having some really good art here and there. Great pictures, Dan.

    Reply
  49. Personally, I think you completed the water portion of your fish painting exactly as much as you needed to. The water nearest the fish’s tail fin melds with the motion of the fish (a movement that you also echo in your sky), and you let go of any superfluous detail in the rest of the water. Too often, painters (and I am frequently guilty of this myself) don’t stop painting when the painting already says what it is meant to say, and then it loses its freshness, its magic, the special something that lifts it above the ordinary. I applaud your high school senior self.

    Reply
  50. With a start like that no wonder you became the talented artist that you are now. You are naturally gifted. Most grown-ups cannot match your childhood skills.

    Reply
  51. Hmmmm, that’s how my paintings look now. Looks like I have a way to go – hope I live long enough!

    P.s. Thanks for your info that you send out periodically – it’s very thoughtful and helpful!

    Reply
  52. Wow, lovely, i look at your early painting and they are very interesting, i look at them and say i can do that. im in a rut i started doing a painting and i quit because i dont know were to go from were i am. i have not done any painting i lost my confidence.

    Reply
  53. Thsnk you for sharing. It makes me believe that mine could be good too, starting off!

    Thanks
    Its given me hope and enthusiasm to do it anyway

    Reply
  54. I LOVE all of your posts but this was wonderful. I will have to find some of my old paintings. It is interesting to have a keen eye at such an early age and to see how your perspective and maybe emotion has improved your art. I love all of your work and posts, and do not finish paintings and I think I am timid. I do not think you were timid just young :).

    Reply
  55. Thank you for sharing your early work.. It’s fascinating to look back at ones work and comparing the changes and seeing our progress.

    Reply
  56. Dan,

    What amazing childhood paintings you did. Being able to see and paint like that is just wonderful. I never showed such vision and skill as a child so the best my parents could do as encouragement is say “How nice” and put it up on the refrigerator for awhile before it disappeared. You are blessed.

    Reply
  57. They were beautiful. Imagine all those years ago. Definitely, something to be proud off, indeed!! Keep up the good work of encouraging us to try.
    Andrea😷🗣👐

    Reply
  58. I wish my mother would have saved my childhood art. I think that I painted pictures in books. Painting was fast in my being then but did not last until I turned 60+. I went to a Watercolor Painting course and I lit up again. Lots of work under my belt and I paint for me more than I paint to earn ribbons. More fun that way.

    Reply
  59. Ms. Moi must have enjoyed you as a dedicated, enthusiastic student artist…every teacher hopes for such a talented pupil.
    Love the bass as several did too and pointed out the realism offset with abstraction.
    My art association recently had an oldest/newest art exhibit, one of our most charming shows. Perseverance pays off.
    Thanks for showing your work and telling of the support and encouragement of your parents and teacher.

    Reply
  60. I agree with everyone who said that they can see the promise of the artist you would become in these early pieces. I think it would be fascinating to choose one of these and do it again with the years of training and experience that you have now and then compare and contrast them. Many of us could see what we are trying to achieve – what is out there for us if we keep training, practicing, educating ourselves and painting. What an inspiration that would be!

    Reply
  61. Thank you for sharing your childhood with us. Your paintings are lovely and full of promise. I especially like the one of the beach. It reminds me of the story “footprints in the sand”.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

147 Shares
Pin147
Share