Drawing With Children: Les 5 Drawing Pencils

drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

 

Drawing with Children chapter 5 gives a list of art supplies to try and in this entry I am going to help you through choosing pencils to use in your nature journal.

Pencils are easy to find and easy to use. They are small enough to fit in any backpack along with a nature journal. I always carry drawing pencils with me when we take our hikes and they are the “staple” of my nature drawing kit.

I have two ways of carrying them. If I am carrying my big backpack and have room to fit it in, I carry my Art Bin filled with various kinds of drawing pencils, a good metal sharpener, a few erasers, and a drawing tortillion.

If I am traveling light, I put a few pencils, my black ink pen, and a few old crayons in a Ziploc bag and carry them that way. Don’t laugh, it works.

Here is a photo of what I am describing. I actually pulled these out of my backpack so they are just as if I were ready to take off for a hike. I must admit that I rarely just take along pencils. I almost always end up throwing in some colored pencils or watercolor pencils. I couldn’t find a single example from my nature journal where I only used a drawing pencil. I use them to sketch things out roughly on the page and then put on a little color.
art bin and ziploc
So what kind of pencils do you want to try? Most homeschoolers have a ready supply of the good old stand-by #2 pencils. This will do fine to start but for a variety of line you might want to try a different pencil that is harder or softer than the #2.

Mona Brookes suggests:
one #H (hard lead gives lighter line)
one #2B (the “B” is the softness)
one #5B or #6B
She also recommends starting a sketch with the #H, adding in some shading and detail with the #2B, and then going back and putting on the darkest shadings with the #5B or #6B.

Personally, I love to use the #4B and the #6B. When I am really into a sketch, I love to really make the darks dark and it is much easier to do with the #6B. If you really want to splurge, try a woodless pencil…it feels so good in your hand.

Pencils are relatively inexpensive so you can pick up a variety and add them into your art box. If you are on a budget and want to work on your drawing skills, then try just using pencil and eraser and you can get beautiful results. I have added a few of my own drawings to this blog post to give you some encouragement in using a variety of pencils in your nature journal as well as in your daily sketching.

drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

Here are the rest of the Lessons:

Lesson 1 – Getting Started

Lesson 2 – Drawing from Graphics

Lesson 3 – Still Life

Lesson 4 – Volume Drawing

Lesson 5 – Conte Crayons

Lesson 5 – Chalk Pastels

Lesson 5 – Drawing Pencils

Lesson 5 – Colored Pencils

Lesson 5 – Oil Pastels

Lesson 5 – Watercolors

Click to each lesson for adaptations, suggestions, and videos.

free-download-drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

You can download all the Drawing With Children – Nature Journal Style Lesson Plans here: Drawing with Children Lesson 1 – Getting Started.

 

Cover Grade 4

Please note that Drawing With Children is part of the Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 Curriculum. You can click over to read more about this art and music appreciation plan here:

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Explanation

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Sample

The plans in Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 relate the lessons to a study of great art and artists. Please see page 9 in the sample linked above to get an idea how I do this in the plans.

Supplies Needed for the Lesson Above

Please note these are Amazon affiliate links to products I own and recommend.


Every Small Miracle-Charlotte Mason Education

walking on a sequoia

“Every small miracle that ceases to amaze us is like a new discovery to our children, as exciting as the discovery of gravity to Newton.”
Charlotte Mason, Home Education, volume 1, page 54

“…We have been seeing flowers for years–but our children haven’t. Flowers are still new and wonderful to them and it’s the fault of grown-ups if every new flower they see ceases to delight them.”
Charlotte Mason, Home Education, volume 1, page 53

I am sharing these quotes with you because they really have impacted how I treat learning with my own children. Often we need to be reminded of things and those reminders sometimes come as a breath of fresh air. My heart reads these ideas in Charlotte Mason’s writings and it encourages me to be a better mom and teacher.

Currently I am homeschooling my fourth child so that means this is the fourth time I have covered basically the same information in the 8th grade……four times. I could just be going through the motions at this point. Putting my feelings aside, I realize that this is the *first* time this particular son has been in the eighth grade and I need to try to be as up-beat about it as I can. It is all new to him.

Today we visited a friend and she has a guinea pig…a really big, hairy guinea pig. My boys have never seen one up close before and they were thrilled. I am not so thrilled with small furry things so I had to put on my “teacher” hat and think of ways to be as thrilled as they are. What is the point I am trying to make? Just that I could have easily been put off by this creature but instead I realized that my boys were excited to see something new so my job was to be encouraging and let them enjoy the experience.

roots of a sequoia
Ever climb through the roots of a fallen giant sequoia tree and out through the hollow center? My boys wanted to…so we did.

So much of what Charlotte Mason taught was about providing time and space for our children to learn new things….meaningful things from their real life. Our nature study is a window into the world for them and we miss out if we limit what we offer because we are worn-out or tired of looking at the same old things. Yes, a pine cone is just a pine cone to us but to our children it has a color, a shape, a texture, and a fragrance…all new and exciting.

Funny thing is that if we allow ourselves to experience these times with our children, we end up enjoying them too. Their enthusiasm rubs off on us and we see things through their eyes….just like it was new to us all over again. It doesn’t matter whether it is looking through a microscope at a leaf, planting a seed in the garden, knitting a scarf, making cookies, or laying down in the grass and looking at the sky. It is the everyday experiences that delight our children and we need to slow down and enjoy it with them. It makes us truly rich.

Try it and you will see,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Drawing With Children-Les 5 Chalk Pastels

drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes talks about chalk pastels in chapter five. She suggests that you try these after conte crayons so here are my ideas for adapting this lesson for your nature journal.


The good news is that although these are just as messy as the conte crayons, your children will probably enjoy them more. They are colorful and you get lots of bright bold colors on your page. They are not as smooth on the page as an oil pastel but they give you more color than a watercolor pencil.
chalk pastels 1
We have always enjoyed the way you can overlap the colors and you can see them blend on your page but they will break if you apply too much pressure.

You will need good paper, a kneaded eraser, and a fixative in order to use these in your nature drawings. I am still not convinced I would use them directly into my nature journal or carry chalk pastels in my backpack but if you are around the house and can use them on separate sheets of paper and then insert them into your journal, they are a nice change from colored pencils.
chalk pastel leaf

You can see how the leaf looks great but there is a mess on the page and the pastels broke when I was using them. You can still use them even when they get quite small though so just be prepared that your nice new box of pastels will soon be broken and messy.

 

How about a couple of videos that I made to get some additional ideas?

Chalk Pastel Video #1

Chalk Pastel Video #2

pastels pencils
I also tried the Pastels Pencils (Conte brand) and they were a little easier to use than the crayon sticks. They still have the same texture so they were a little scratchy on the paper and still made a little mess. If I had to choose, I would use the pencils but not in my nature notebook. The pencils were much easier to control and you could sharpen them to a point to get a nice sharp line.

chalk pastels fixative

 

 

Here are the rest of the Lessons:

Lesson 1 – Getting Started

Lesson 2 – Drawing from Graphics

Lesson 3 – Still Life

Lesson 4 – Volume Drawing

Lesson 5 – Conte Crayons

Lesson 5 – Chalk Pastels

Lesson 5 – Drawing Pencils

Lesson 5 – Colored Pencils

Lesson 5 – Oil Pastels

Lesson 5 – Watercolors

Click to each lesson for adaptations, suggestions, and videos.

free-download-drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

You can download all the Drawing With Children – Nature Journal Style Lesson Plans here: Drawing with Children Lesson 1 – Getting Started.

 

Cover Grade 4

Please note that Drawing With Children is part of the Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 Curriculum. You can click over to read more about this art and music appreciation plan here:

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Explanation

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Sample

The plans in Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 relate the lessons to a study of great art and artists. Please see page 9 in the sample linked above to get an idea how I do this in the plans.

 

Supplies Needed for this Lesson

Please note these are Amazon affiliate links to products I own and recommend.

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