Pretty in Pencil and Pastels: Drawing Foliage (July 2012)

Observational drawing is one of my favourite Art Club activities, and all of my 4-6 year old students love to pick up their pencils and draw. So this project was an obvious choice for our last Art Club before the summer holidays, bringing together many of the skills learned throughout the year, including how to draw still life objects in perspective (click here to see this previous project).

I brought in three sprigs of foliage – bracken, maidenhair fern, and an allium seed-head – and set them out as a ‘still life’ in a watering can.

Before getting started everyone had a close look at the shapes and forms of the different plants noticing how, for example, the leaves of the fern are almost heart-shaped.

Using black pencil crayons, the kids drew the watering can first, and then the three stems, concentrating on one at a time in order to get the detail right.

I was delighted that they remembered how to draw the watering can in perspective!

As well as reviewing skills already learned, I wanted the kids to have a go at something new – colouring with soft pastels.

Most of the children had never used this rather tricky (and potentially messy!) art medium before, so I set them the relatively simple task of adding background colours to give another dimension to their detailed drawings.

They chose either ‘warm’ (reds and yellows) or ‘cool’ colours (blues, greens and purples) and learned how to shade gently, blending the colours with their fingers.

I think the results are rather beautiful – the delicate pastel colours really complement the intricate details of the foliage.











Please click through the Gallery to view more examples:

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