Friday, April 19, 2013

Branching Out With Some Observational Drawing

My son and I set aside a beautiful spring afternoon for some observational drawing.  Our subject: Trees.  Spring is the best time of year for this since the weather is warming up and the buds are just beginning to pop in our neighborhood.  Without the leaves, you can really see the structure of the tree. 
My son chose his artistic media, oil pastels.  I attached a piece of heavy paper to a clip board and we ventured outside with our camp chairs.  If you don’t have folding chairs available an alternative, that also works great for groups, is to put a folded newspaper into a plastic grocery bag and you are good to go!  It’s waterproof, inexpensive and portable!
I sat with my son in our front yard and we talked about what we saw.  Where is the thickest part of the tree?  Where is the thinnest?  Notice how the branches divide and new branches grow?  I keep it light with minimal instruction.  I mostly ask questions to get him started in making his own observations.  I am intentional about pointing out what I see on the tree, not what he needs to do on his paper.  We are not striving for photorealism here.
To celebrate spring, I encourage you to take your little ones outside to observe the wonders of nature and create some masterpieces of your own! 

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