One day we noticed that several of the students were drawing flowers the exact same way. To expand on this interest, we brought in many different kinds of flowers so we could take a closer look of each flower and the details in the plant. Our goal is for the children to recognize that all flowers don’t look the same. To do this, we sat down and looked at each flower one-by-one altogether, and discussing what we saw.
The children compared size and shape on petals, some being small and some being huge, some having many petals on one flower while others had less. They observed the shape of a petal and recognized that some were small and pointy at the top while others were more round and diamond shaped. They noted the colors on each flower and described the pattern (or lack of pattern) in details. They named each flower something different: Apple plant, rose, flowers, weeds, and pines. The children also took a closer look at the leaves, recognizing some had many big leaves while others had small leaves. A discussion on where the leaves started also ensued and the children noted how some leaves came out on the top of the stem and were pointy, while others were big and pointy on the bottom.
After observing and discussing all this, we began our observational drawing for each flower. The children surprised the teachers with what they were able to draw after our observations and discussion.
Observational drawing is a technique that teaches students how to pay attention to detail and translate their perceptions into a picture of their own. The technique involves showing students an object and asking them to re-create it, as they perceive it, on paper in their own drawing. This technique allows students to combine artistic instruction with logic and perceptual skills. For more information on observational drawing, click here.