Beetle Detail: Observational Drawing (Autumn 2010)

Whenever I teach observational drawing , particularly when the children have to draw something in detail, I am always astounded by the results. By challenging their powers of observation and encouraging them to ‘draw what they see’, young children are able to produce surprisingly accurate and intricate pictures that always exceed my expectations. That was certainly the case with this project for 4-6 year olds.

The idea was for the kids to do a large and detailed drawing of something that is very small in real life. I printed out photographs of a variety of beautiful beetles from the website of Alex Wild, a biologist in Illinois, whose incredible close-up photographs of all sorts of insects are well worth a look.

Each child chose a beetle, and then I encouraged them to look closely at the shape of the body and head, the position of the legs, and any patterns, texture and colours. I also wanted them to look at any background details, such as flowers, leaves or bark.

The children drew in pencil and then added colour with gouache.

I photographed the finished drawings alongside the original photograph to prove just how meticulous and precise they are. Wonderful!

Please click through the gallery below to see more beautiful beetles…



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