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Observing Leaves – Drawing What We See

Observing Leaves – Drawing What We See
"Look with all your eyes, look." 
                                                                                -Jules Verne
We are noticing the beautiful leaves that have recently fallen and landed at our feet near our school this year.  Interesting shapes and lovely colors litter the Arboretum and we have been doing our best as “leaf hunters” to bring these magical treasures inside!
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One morning, we took the time to really get to know these autumn treasures.  We wonder:
What do you notice when you look closely?
What surprises you?
Is there anything interesting that you would like to share with a friend?
Then together, we began to capture the shapes, lines and “dots” that make up the leaves that we collected.  We capture the leaves by observational drawing, or drawing what we see. When we draw through observation, we are practicing seeing. 
We practice looking at things very closely and draw exactly what we see.  In this way, we capture the essence of the object, as well as the details that excite us and surprise us.

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Observational drawing is an exercise we like to do in the Studio at Opal School.  It gives us the chance to draw, which is always fun, but it also gives us a chance to slow down and really see the object we are drawing. 


Lori Pickert, an author and educator, has written many posts on her blog, Camp Creek Blog, stating the benefits of observation drawing with children of all ages.  She notes a few benefits are:

• Slowing down, taking our time

• Learning to really see

• Noticing details

• Realizing improvement comes with practice

• Becoming comfortable with mistakes

• Becoming confident in attempting something new

We see this as we invite the children to draw and get to know meaningful objects like the fall leaves they collected and their own faces.  Please visit the classroom to see some of our work in the studio!

November 08, 2012