What I love about setting up observational art, is that everyone can go about it in their own way. On a peaceful Sunday afternoon, H (10, Z (3.8), E (18 months) and I got creatively inspired by the sunflowers i’d just bought from the local florist.
- poster paints or watercolours
- colour pencils
- paintbrushes / water pot
What to do:
It’s best to be well prepared and set up everything needed before inviting the children to join in. I then simply asked them if they wanted to do a still life drawing of the sunflowers with me – both eagerly accepted, but as you can see from the above photo, Z was mainly keen to explore the paints.
I didn’t insist that a sunflower was drawn, especially since Z is still so young. For her, the sunflowers on display were more for her to explore the colours. She did start off with some greens, but quickly became occupied with blues and blacks. This is the first time she has done such an activity some i’m predicting that she will become more involved in the observational art over time.
This is really going to depend on art exposure to date. Z has been doing process art activities since she was a year old. She has had plenty of exposure to exploring materials and whilst she started off drawing the flower here, she quickly lost interest – she’s 3.8 years for reference. It did serve as a great observational activity regardless – she was most fascinated by the teeny tiny caterpillar you can see in the photograph below!
I would suggest trying this activity more formally from 6 onward. My eldest (10) really enjoyed it and now says he wants to do this style of art everyday after school! He is very keen on art anyway but this did make a great change of drawing Pokemon!
In a home setting like ours – this was simply a Sunday afternoon activity – I haven’t placed any emphasis on techniques for drawing or painting, yet of course this would be different in a school setting.
Why you should try this activity
- Fine motor skills: the pincer grip is needed to grab hold of the paintbrushes
- Hand-eye coordination: looking from the page to the drawing and back again
- Language development: talking colours and textures
- Perseverance: this activity takes a real amount of focus.
- Family time: this suits a wide variety of age groups
Like it? Pin it!
If you like this activity and want to save it for later, I’ve made this handy graphic – just add it to your Pinterest board. You can also follow me on Pinterest here.