Monday, 30 July 2012

observational drawing

Observational drawing.
seven year olds.

I begin every art day with observational drawing, regardless of the age of the children. The younger children work more quickly. The older ones have learnt to see more to include in their work. I give them 4B pencils. I have a collection of objects in the room, which have only one colour but many tones. I ask the children to observe tones (shades), details and proportion. I rove continually, passing supportive, positive comments for all to hear. ie; 'great detail', 'I see four tones in your work', 'I like the way you are using the side of your pencil', 'I've notice you are looking at the subject often'. At the end of a session, which varies in time considering the children's age and the subject, I will hold up each piece of work and pass a positive comment. It's quick and easy to do and rewarding for the children.

Observational drawing objects I've collected include feathers, shells, variety of seed pods, keys, dry leaves, bones, dry seaweed.


  1. Hello Gretchen

    These are lovely. How long is your art class? How much time do you allow for observational drawing?


    Rina at

  2. Thanks Rina. You wont want to hear this but I have a class for the entire day, 8 times a year. The observational drawing serves several purposes: the obvious, observational skills; it is also a calm, quiet start to the day; and I have time to complete prep. for the day if not already done. Anything from 10mins for the 5 year olds, to 25 mins for the older children.



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