DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination

Students practise drawing from observation, memory and imagination. Each technique causes them to see the object in a new way.

 

 

Required Time

160 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 9

Subject

Mathematics
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

contour line mass observation shape texture

Materials

Crayola® Markers Crayola® Marker & Watercolour Paper – 11.4 cm X 15.2 cm (4.5” X 6”) OR Sketchbook (Creating a Simple Sketchbook Lesson) Soft Paintbrush Water Plastic Animals or other objects to draw Yogurt Container Lid

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Steps

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step One

Step One

BLIND CONTOUR

Place the object you are going to draw in front of you.

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Two

Step Two

Draw with a marker.

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Three

Step Three

Do not look at your paper as you draw. Slowly look at the outer edges of the object drawing a smooth, fluid line to show where you are looking.

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Four

Step Four

MODIFIED CONTOUR

Place the object you are going to draw in front of you. Draw with a marker.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Five

Step Five

This time look at the object, start drawing and then look at the paper as you draw - eyes up, eyes down. Slowly look at the outer edges of the object drawing a smooth, fluid line to show where you are looking.

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Six

Step Six

SCRIBBLE

Place the object you are going to draw in front of you. Draw with a marker.

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Seven

Step Seven

Begin drawing from the thickest part of the object - working from inside to the outside. 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Eight

Step Eight

Scribble a loose, energetic line to fill out the mass of the object looking carefully at the object and your paper while you draw.

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Nine

Step Nine

SHAPE

Place the object you are going to draw in front of you. Draw with a marker.

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Ten

Step Ten

Look for the basic shapes in the animal and draw them as simply as possible.

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Eleven

Step Eleven

TEXTURE

Place the object you are going to draw in front of you. Draw with a marker.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Twelve

Step Twelve

Look carefully at the object and draw only the surface texture – how it feels.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Thirteen

Step Thirteen

Do not draw an outline of the object. Let the texture create the object.

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Fourteen

Step Fourteen

MEMORY

Take one minute to memorize the animal.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Fifteen

Step Fifteen

Place the animal out of sight.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Sixteen

Step Sixteen

Draw the animal from memory. Compare your drawing with the animal to see what is the same and what is different.

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Seventeen

Step Seventeen

IMAGINATION

Draw a circle and some lines with marker. Make the lines fairly thick.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Eighteen

Step Eighteen

Paint a small amount of water into the outer edge of the circle. Let the marker fade from dark to light. Repeat with the lines. Notice how this technique makes the shape look three-dimensional.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Nineteen

Step Nineteen

Draw some marker on a plastic yogurt lid. Make the lines fairly thick.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Twenty

Step Twenty

Paint a small amount of water into the marker to liquefy it.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Twenty-One

Step Twenty-One

Paint with the liquid marker.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Twenty-Two

Step Twenty-Two

Create a drawing of your animal in an imaginary situation.

 

DRAWING – Observation, Memory, Imagination - Step Twenty-Three

Step Twenty-Three

Combine what you know with what you can make up.  Use the water with marker technique to make the picture appear to have more depth.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  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; and
  4. Create an imaginary drawing using water and marker technique.

Extensions

  1. Students create their own sketchbook and practice drawing from observation for 10 minutes each day. (See Creating a Simple Sketchbook Lesson Plan)
  2. At the end of each month students select 3 pages they like and place post-it notes on the pages with a brief explanation of why they like that page.
  3. Teacher and/or peer provides feedback about the 3 pages to the students. 

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. Make sure you have lots of paper (about 10 sheets per student),
  3. Make sure there are 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 down 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.

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 an imaginary drawing 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. Encourage them to explain why they chose the drawing they did.
  3. Remind students that these are just strategies to train the eye to see more closely. The more they draw, the better they will get.
  4. 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  – concentration, interest
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience. 

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