Looking & Looking Again

“Accuracy of observation is the equivalent of accuracy of thinking.” — Wallace Stevens

Students in Drawing 1a have been looking closely at plant specimens in the art studio. Each artist selected a plant form, and began noticing the shapes, textures, patterns, and color layers.

As a class they asked themselves:

What can we learn from the natural world?
How are artists and scientists similar?
How can honing observation skills help us in other areas of our lives?

The artists are using soft chalk pastels to capture the specimen forms. Soft chalk pastels are powdery, vibrant, forgiving, and easy to blend and layer. The artists are thinking about what part of the pastel they were using: the end or the edge? And considerations have to be made about composition, zooming in, and cropping.

Here an artist works within a circular piece of black drawing paper while looking at a succulent form.

Here an artist makes decisions about color choices while drawing a cluster of Japanese Maple leaves.

Here an artist reflects on the gradual gradations of red and purple in a Smokebush leaf.

As the term progresses, the storage shelves in the studio fill up with work.

The goal is for each student to create a portfolio that exhibits a strong progression of thinking, observation, exploration, experimentation.

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