DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination

Students practise drawing from observation, memory and imagination – techniques that cause them to see the object in a new way.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 8

Subject

Mathematics
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

contour line mass observation shape texture

Materials

Crayola Markers Crayola Sketchbooks or Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Crayola Paint Brushes Plastic Container Lids Water Containers Plastic Animals or Other Objects to Draw

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Steps

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step One

Step One

BLIND CONTOUR

  1. Place the animal you are going to draw in front of you.
  2. Draw with the tip of a marker.
  3. Do not look at your paper as you draw.
  4. Slowly look at the outer edges of the animal.
  5. Draw a smooth, fluid line to show where you are looking.
DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Two

Step Two

MODIFIED CONTOUR

  1. Place the animal you are going to draw in front of you.
  2. Draw with the tip of a marker.
  3. This time look at the object, start drawing and then look at the paper as you draw - eyes up, eyes down.
  4. Slowly look at the outer edges of the object.
  5. Draw a smooth, fluid line to show where you are looking.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Three

Step Three

SCRIBBLE

  1. Place the animal you are going to draw in front of you.
  2. Draw with the tip of a marker.
  3. Begin drawing from the thickest part of the animal - working from inside to the outside
  4. Scribble a loose, energetic line to fill out the mass of the object.
  5. Look carefully at the animal and your paper while you draw.
DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Four

Step Four

SHAPE

  1. Place the animal you are going to draw in front of you.
  2. Draw with the tip of a marker
  3. Look for the basic shapes in the animal.
  4. Draw them as simply as possible.
DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Five

Step Five

TEXTURE

  1. Place the animal you are going to draw in front of you.
  2. Draw with the tip of a marker.
  3. Look carefully at the animal and draw only the surface texture – how it feels.
  4. Do not draw an outline of the animal.
  5. Let the texture create the animal.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Six

Step Six

MEMORY

  1. Take one minute to memorize the animal.
  2. Place the animal out of sight.
  3. Draw the animal from memory.
  4. Compare your drawing with the animal.
  5. What is the same and what is different?
DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Seven

Step Seven

WATER AND MARKER

  1. Draw a circle and some lines with marker.
  2. Make the lines fairly thick.
  3. Paint a small amount of water into the outer edge of the circle.
  4. Let the marker fade from dark to light.
  5. Repeat with the lines.
  6. Notice how this technique makes the shape look three-dimensional.
  7. Draw some marker on a plastic lid.
  8. Make the lines fairly thick.
  9. Paint a small amount of water into the marker ink to liquefy it.
  10. Paint with the liquid marker.
DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Eight

Step Eight

IMAGINATION

  1. Create a drawing of your animal in an imaginary situation.
  2. Combine what you know with what you can make up.  
  3. Use the water with marker technique to make the picture appear to have more depth.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • draw from observation using 4 basic strategies – contour, scribble, shape, texture;
  • identify different aspects of an object’s attributes – line, mass, texture and shape;
  • memorize and draw an object from memory; 
  • create a drawing of an imaginary scene using water and marker technique.

Extensions

Have students:

  • create their own sketchbook using the Making a Sketchbook lesson plan available on this website;
  • practise drawing from observation for 10 minutes each day;
  • select 3 pages they like at the end of each month;
  • place post-it notes on the pages with a brief explanation of why they like that page;
  • work with a partner to provide feedback about the 3 pages to each other. 

Prepare

  1. Gather enough plastic animals (or other objects) for each student in the class to have one.
    - Plastic animals are popular with students and have good details making them an excellent object to draw.
  2. Have about 10 sheets of paper per student.
  3. Have enough markers for each student to have one.
  4. Download several pictures of animal drawings from the Internet.
    Rabbit
    Fish
    Goat
    Deer

Introduction

  1. Show students the drawings of animals.
    What do you think of these pictures?
    The people who drew these have trained their eye to see lots of details. 
    - You can do the same thing with practice, and by slowing your looking d
    own enough to really see.
    Today we are going to do some ‘push-ups for the eyes’.
    - At the gym you can use different exercises to strengthen parts of your body.
    - Today we are going to practise looking in different ways to strengthen the way we see.
    - When we do that we’ll get better at drawing.
  2. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Draw from observation using 4 basic strategies – contour, scribble, shape, texture.
  2. Identify different aspects of an object’s attributes – line, mass, texture and shape.
  3. Memorize and draw an object from memory.
  4. Create a drawing of an imaginary scene using water and marker technique.

The Process

PART ONE

  1. Choose an animal to work with.
  2. Choose a marker.
    We’re going to do 4 different kinds of exercises. The first is called contour drawing. We’ll start with a blind contour. If you finish before I ask you to stop, keep on drawing the animal from a different point of view. Remember we’re practising looking. The marks you make show where your eye has been.
  3. Demonstrate each of the drawing strategies allowing students to work for about 5 minutes on each one.
  4. At the end ask students which of the 4 strategies they like the best and why.
    Notice how some people like one way of drawing better than another. It’s usually because some ways seem more natural than others for different people. It’s important to practice all the strategies though, because it helps you to see things in a variety of ways. That way you see more detail and it makes it easier to draw anything.

PART TWO

  1. Ask students to memorize their animal.
    You’ve looked at your animal for quite a few minutes now. Let’s see if you will be able to draw it without looking at it. I’m going to give you one minute to memorize it and then you can draw what you remember.
  2. Time students for one minute. Ask them to place the animal out of sight and to draw what they remember.
  3. Give them about 1-2 minutes to draw.
  4. Ask them to compare what they drew with the actual animal. What do they notice?
  5. Talk about how it felt to draw the animal without looking at it. Ask what they did to memorize their animal.

PART THREE

  1. Demonstrate how to use marker with water to get the illusion of depth and the feel of watercolour paint.
  2. Ask students to make a drawing of their animal in an imaginary setting using this technique. Remind them that they will be combining what they know about their animal with what they can imagine to create something unique.

Sharing

  1. Ask students to choose their favourite drawing and to put a little asterisk beside it.
  2. Have students share their drawings with each other - discuss the way they look and how it felt to do them.
  3. Encourage them to explain why they chose the drawing they did.
  4. Remind students that these are just strategies to train the eye to see more closely – the more they draw, the better they will get.
  5. Encourage them to choose an animal to draw repeatedly throughout the year until they can draw it from memory the same way they can write their name.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, interest.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their drawings – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the drawing.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.

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