Friday, May 15, 2015

Charlotte Mason Nature Study - Garden


We had a wonderful day at a beautiful, large and boutique-y garden center for our Charlotte Mason Nature Study today.  I adore garden centers, even if it gives me more inspiration than would ever be in the budget...it's just such a happy place for me!  And all the kids in our group seemed to really enjoy it too. 

After we explored the many different areas of the nursery, we regrouped and took some time for our nature journals and we did a simple garden scene.  I try to keep the demonstrations simple because we aren't spending a TON of time on it during our meetings but the idea is to get the kids just doing it and inspired so they can do more nature journaling in their own.  

I made 2 examples for the kids.  The first example was a blend of the famous painter/scientist Carl Linneas from the 1700s who studied plants and made botanical illustrations and then would add  up close details of different parts of the plant along With the style of John Audobon and his bird paintings and adding notes and facts about the item being illustrated. The idea is to pull a plant up by the roots (if you have permission) and hold it in one hand or lay it beside your drawing page, study it and then just draw it, the same size and just have fun.  Then paint it with watercolor or use colored pencils.  After going hone you can look up the plant and find the name and some facts about it and write them down around your illustration.  I did a dandelion (although I did mine at night so I looked at a picture online lol) 

The other example was a simple watercolor landscape of a garden showing perspective.  We focused on perspective and just having fun capturing the general shapes of the plants as they get small as they get farther away, and using various shades of greens, yellows and browns.  It was very simplistic and quick but they did great.  The kids got the perspective down and had cute little garden scenes Peter Rabbit would be happy to visit.  We started making a horizon line on the top third of the page then drawing lines for our garden rows showing the perspective.  Then we drew our fence, just draw lines that go straight up along each row bigger in the front to smallest in the back.  Then I encouraged them to just have fun with the vegetation capturing a general shape rather than sorry about any details.  For the first row of what might be collards I just did swirly lumpy shapes that started smaller in the back and increased in size towards the front.  With the climbing plants maybe some pole beans? Who knows it doesn't matter...same thing...just sort of scribbled in some general plant shapes going upwards etc.  
on to the watercolor, first did a wash for the sky wet on wet, then did a brown wash on the lower section for the ground.  Let that dry quickly and then quickly just threw some color on our plant shapes, again nothing fancy just capturing the general shape and adding maybe a little variety of shades mixing in some yellow, various greens, and maybe a hint of blue...it is very simple and easy for young kids to create a simple watercolor garden scene for their nature notebooks.  


Here were a couple great books the kids were looking at during our Charlotte Mason nature time 


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