In this project, student artists learn about how scientists use drawing in their field research. They focus their studies on the ornithologist John Audubon. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. He eventually produced a book called ‘Birds of North America’ which contained 435 life-sized watercolours of North American birds, all reproduced from hand-engraved prints.
Students begin the project by creating ‘field sketches’ through which they learn the basics of observation drawing. They then pick an animal figurine of their choice, draw it from observation, study the habitat of the animal, create an accurate background for their drawing. They finish with watercolor.
A note that the Doodles Academy curriculum encourages a growth mindset by focusing on process over product: projects are designed to allow students to tell their own stories and individualize art projects. This creates a more engaging and more challenging environment where students learn to solve their own problems rather than copying a model.
A typical day in the project:
Students watch a video giving them context and demonstrations.
Students receive instructions and work on their art independently.
-Guardians will receive emails detailing concepts they can discuss with their children.
-After the final lesson, students will submit a photo of their artwork and an artist statement.
- Colored pencils/markers (use what you have on hand)
- optional: Magnifying Glass
- Copy paper for pages in a sketchbook (use what you have on hand)
- Colored or construction paper for a cover (use what you have on hand)
- Watercolor paper
- Botanical examples (e.g., flowers, leaves, etc.), scissors
- Watercolors or liquid watercolor
- Palettes (if using liquid watercolors)