Friday, April 17, 2015

Charlotte Mason Nature Notebook

One of the things I really wanted to focus on this year was keeping nature notebooks and we have a little bit but not very much.  But it's hard to get the kids excited about it just by telling them "wow look at that red cardinal! Now go draw it in your notebook!" But the best way to get them excited about doing things is to set an example and do it myself. so part of making myself start a nature notebook was volunteering to lead the sketching portion of our Charlotte Mason Nature Club since a lot of the kids were bringing their sketch pads but no one was really sketching.  So I picked up my own fresh sketch pad and just that act alone was very exciting! Lol!  

I drew up 2 samples for the upcoming nature outing as we will be focusing on birds and I chose to draw a blue jay and cardinal because I have been enjoying watching those 2 birds in our yard lately.

Anyways I'm excited to get the kids excited about their nature notebooks and   Hopefully next week I can post a couple pictures of what the kids do if they let me!


I taught the kids the secret to drawing any bird is to start with an egg shape for the body and a circle for the head...and while studying the bird they can take into account the proportions and positions of head and body.  Then you add a curves line to connect the top if head to back and bottom if head to breast, add an eye. And pretty much straight out from the eye is a straight line for the middle of the beak.  Look at the bird, does it have a very short beak or a long beak like a hummingbird? Then you can draw an angled line from the tip of the beak back to the head on top and bottom. Then you add wings and a tail...again look at the bird, a cardinal has a longer almost rectangle tail, a blue jay tail is long but more full and rounded at the end, other birds have a very short tail.  After putting in the basic shapes and proportions you can render the details, make edges more soft and curved with feather shapes and erase you drawing lines that are no longer needed at the end and add color.  

The point of a nature journal is to have fun recording what you observed in nature and also experiment and have fun with as an art journal as well.  I always tell my kids to have fun with it, if they want it realistic they can but it doesn't have to be an exact representation of what they see.  Just enjoy nature, think about it and use it as inspiration in their nature notebooks/art journal.

Here are some other things my kids have done in their nature notebooks for example

Fall foliage

 Tracing a leaf

Watercolor sheep

Watercolor wild horse on beach (from Cumberland island)

Recording his playtime with the hose outside

A blue jay

Collecting chicken eggs 

???? Lol

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