Drawing With Children-Les 5 Watercolors in Your Nature Journal

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

 

Watercoloring is the medium that I will share with you this time and show you how we use it in our personal nature journals. I know there are lots of ways to incorporate watercolors into your nature study but I will focus on how to do so in your journals while you are out and about.


Please note: Nature journals take many forms. What my journal looks like is different than what yours will look like. The idea of offering this series of Drawing with Children entries for nature journals has been to offer different ideas and ways to go about keeping a record for your personal enjoyment. I have shared before that we don’t always make an entry with every hike or outing. I make lots of entries and my boys make a few entries. If you are interested in seeing the variety of ideas we incorporate in our journals….here is an entry I wrote awhile back.

Drawing in Your Nature Journal
-My personal journal and thoughts on how to make it your own

So if you are reading Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes, you can follow along with her lessons for watercolors on pages 167-169. Here she gives you step by step instructions for offering watercolors to your children. I would suggest following the lesson and then letting your children practice on watercolor paper. After you feel comfortable with the medium, try using it in your nature journal.

We take our journaling supplies with us on every trip we take. Our recent trip to the desert in Arizona was no exception. Here is a photo of what I packed to take along with us in case we felt inclined to stop and draw.


This is the dollar store box that holds all the supplies. I am sure you can find something similar if you try the dollar store or Wal*Mart or another local discount store. This one is the perfect size for slipping into a backpack.


Here is what I take along inside. From left to right:
Prang semi-moist watercolors-purchased at Michael’s
Ziploc bag with assorted sizes of brushes
Scissors-never know when you will need these 🙂
Small yogurt cup for water
Black gel roller pen
Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils in a metal box (underneath the sketch books)
Sketch book 9 x 6 size with 60 lb paper- I carry two of these so the boys can use one too

That’s it. I rarely need more than that for “on the road” sketching and painting. Inside the watercolor pencil box I do carry an extra sketch pencil. I don’t worry about carrying water since we either have a water bottle along on the hike or we find some water where we are going like in a lake, a stream, or a river.

Sometimes I will sketch with a pen and then watercolor it later.

 

I also have been trying out some watercolor crayons in my nature journal. You can see a video I made showing how to make a watercolor leaf using this media.

Watercolor Crayons in My Nature Journal

 

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.

Drawing With Children: Les 5 Oil Pastels

In this installment in my Drawing With Children-nature journal style series, I am going to share some information and videos about using oil pastels. Although they look a lot like crayons, they are much more versatile even for younger art students.

The blending ability of oil pastels makes them an easy alternative to oil paints with far less mess.

You can use oil pastels in your nature journal but you need to be aware that if you don’t apply a fixative, you will have a smudgy mess on facing pages. I don’t mind the smudges but just make sure to always put them in the journal where they are not facing another entry.

From Drawing with Children, by Mona Brookes, page 166-167:
“Form the undersketch with a very light color and then build on top of it. Use the tips of your fingers to blend the shadings.”

My boys have really enjoyed using oil pastels over the years and I highly recommend you give them a try with your children.

So, are you ready for the videos? The first one gives you some specific techniques to get started and the second is a little more advanced, showing how to use the oil pastels for subjects in your nature journal. We are still working on training my youngest son to be my “camera man” so bear with us as we learn the best ways to video the lessons. 🙂

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.

The Pleasures of Winter-Charlotte Mason When it is Cold

pleasures-of-winter-harmonyfinearts

“When there’s frost or snow on the ground, children have fun sliding, throwing snowballs and building from snow. But even when the snow is slushy and dirty, or the sky is gray, they should have interesting things to do outside so that their hearts are cheerful even when the day is cold and dreary.”
Charlotte Mason (in modern English) volume 1 page 85

Updated January 2018


Okay, so we don’t have 2 to 3 hours of outdoor time as suggested by Charlotte Mason in the winter. But with a little perseverance, we can provide *some* time outdoors each day or week.
winter gear and snowball
It snowed here yesterday and I was thinking as my boys pulled on their snow gear that it really is essential to have the proper clothing available for our children to enjoy being outdoors in the bitter cold. Boots with thick socks, waterproof gloves, woolen hats, coats and even snow pants may be necessary for them to really get the most out of being outdoors. If they get cold, they will want to come right back in.
snowman
If they are properly dressed, they may still need some direction as they head outside. I try to just be available during our outdoor time. I don’t necessarily do much to entertain the boys but I am always hovering around taking photos, puttering in the garden cleaning up, sweeping the steps, filling the birdfeeders, collecting interesting things to bring into the house for our nature corner, or just sitting and looking at the sky or the trees or whatever.
clearning snow
Giving them tasks to do will help if they seem to be aimlessly wandering around the yard. In the winter it can be something like gathering twigs and fallen branches from off the lawn to put in the compost pile or I have them put out different things for the birds to eat like peanuts or seeds and that always turns into a period of time to observe how long it takes the birds to find the treats.

I don’t want you to think that we have extended time each day outdoors because that wouldn’t be the truth. Some days it as much as we can do to go out and walk to the mailbox and back. But, every week we make an effort to be outdoors and be looking at things that we can find even in the winter cold. Every month we take a whole school day to devote to nature study. At first I was hesitate to take a whole day off just for nature study but in the grand scheme of things it has been a positive and important decision even with my boys who are older at ages 12 and 14. They need time to connect and enjoy nature.

Just a side note: Last week I was walking around at a ski resort and I saw a young mother with her little baby all snuggled down in a front pack. She had the baby in a snowsuit, in the pack, and an extra blanket draped over her shoulder. The baby had his little nose and eyes poking out from under the blanket and they were very happy eyes. I thought to myself that this was the answer for those with really little ones that want to spend time outdoors in the freezing temperatures. A few minutes snuggled with mom out in the fresh air can only help with everyone’s moods and dispositions.

So have I encouraged you? Have I shown you that this is something you can plan for even if you have to exchange one math period for one nature walk? It is worth the effort. Don’t forget when you come in all frosty cold, it is *cocoa* time!!
winter gear and hot cooca
It is okay if that is the best part for you…..just don’t let your kids know!

 

Handbook of Nature Study Logo
If you would like some more inspiration for your time outside this winter, please see my Handbook of Nature Study blog.

Click over to see nature study ideas all organized by topic and season. Use the tabs at the top of the blog to navigate the many ideas I have shared over the last decade.

If you are interested in an Ultimate Naturalist Library Membership, you can use the discount code NATURE5 to get $5 off a membership.

Winter Ebook Cover

Here is one of the winter ebooks that you can find in the Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. You can download a sample here: Winter Nature Study ebook sample.

 

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